Emotionally-saturated, fully-charged, and straying creatively from the beaten path. This album is sure to spark your musical senses.
Title track ‘The Art of Disconnect’ provides a strong start. Opening with gentle piano notes alongside a repeated sentence, it soon reveals its tough outer shell with a blast of guitar and drums, cautionary vocal growls and a heavy amount of bass to awaken your ears.
If it’s riffing you’re after then ‘Enthusiasm and Fumes’ has you sorted. There is an almost foreboding element in the way that it warns “I cannot take another night of this,” and the choral contribution seems to give the song an altogether a darker quality. ‘It Comes at a Price’ delivers the huskier and groovier matter, the vocals are sterner on this one and there’s a low and heavy bass guitar lure which bounces and shudders you along. For a speedy drumming fix, blended with smooth-as-ice vocals and several shots of fast strumming ‘The Clear Light of Self Hatred’ ticks the box. There are striking throaty screams and riffs hidden in this one.
Twisting the dial to an almost pop-punk setting is the beautiful short but sweet, ‘If I Could Trade Me for a Day’ which has all of the angst and vulnerability of a journal entry coupled with a happy outer disguise. There is an undeniable late ‘90s flavor to the rhythm of ‘The Grip’ and whilst the lyrics may speak of “losing the grip” it has a steady beat and the split-second rest works well to really hurl that last chorus at you. The song has full control.
The band has achieved some great effects throughout this album. ‘Blueprint for a Breakdown’ has powerful drumming and a guitar and bass line that, combined with hurried whispers, feels like a mental brain-chase. Whereas the more grunge-fuelled-fest that is ‘Slow Motion Ruin,’ with its clever weighty pace, have you feeling like you are wading, heavy-legged, through deep water. There are slower, more self-reflective songs, such as ‘Grin and Bare it’ where string arrangements seem to add a sparkle of hope, as harmonies weave a net of support around you. Then there are the faster but still heart-space-heavy tracks like ‘Who I’ve Become’ which pleads for help and the fuzzy cloud that is ‘Straight Jacket’ whose tune might wrap you up and embed itself in your ears.
It’s a compelling album and clearly built on experience. Next time you feel like running away from your thoughts in life, take a look over your shoulder and you may well find one of its tracks reaching out to support and guide or even just to sit with you for a while. It knows.
Review: Suzi Bootz
The Art of Disconnect
Enthusiasm and Fumes
It Comes at a Price
The Clear Light of Self Hatred
Grin and Bare It
Who I’ve Become
Slow Motion Ruin
Blueprint for a Breakdown
If I could Trade Me for a Day
The Rocket Dolls are: Nikki Smash (vocals, guitars), Joe Constable (bass, backing vocals), Benji Knopfler (drums).