Bellmer Dolls, The Big Cats Will Throw Themselves Over

J. Edward Keyes

By J. Edward Keyes

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

Evoking equally the manic insanity of the Birthday Party and the grim insistence of Swans, New York City's Bellmer Dolls make vicious Weimar rock & roll that's steeped in shadow and stinks of blood. It's no surprise that bassist Anthony Malat used to be in LoveLife (the goth/horror band that also spun-off Celebration) or that singer Peter Mavrogeorgis played guitar for Angels of Light; like those bands, the Bellmer Dolls push terror to its extreme, creating songs that shriek and twitch and howl. The tension comes from the balancing of contrasts: the bass is low and creeps like a fever while the guitar lines are spastic and spiky. But it's never just throttle-and-screech: there's a passage at the center of the preciously-titled "L'Condition Humaine" where the guitars indulge in a harrowing highwire act, twitching and wobbling anxiously. There's a cold horror at the core of these songs that nags and unsettles. The Big Cats is an exquisite corpse, a great demonstration of violent decay.