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"Brechtian punk cabaret" is the official pitch of Boston duo the Dresden Dolls, though that middle bit is possibly more behavioural than musical. Amanda Palmer and Brian Viglione's piano-drums-vocal approach is a good deal more Kurt Weill than Johnny Rotten on their self-titled album, though it could well turn fiery on this debut tour of Australia.

The pair have been spinning their lean, angular, theatrical fare for around five years, a weird collision of contemporary lyrics and old world musical motifs a little reminiscent of recent visitors the Fiery Furnaces. They've been keeping way cool company: Beck, the B-52's and Jane's Addiction have taken them on tour and Martin Bisi (Swans, Sonic Youth) produced their acclaimed debut.

The Dolls have also made surprising inroads into the US mainstream, taking three gongs at the last Boston Music Awards. These were accepted, via pre-recorded video, by sock puppets. On stage, their melodramatic music is enhanced by striking make-up and wardrobe choices.

Michael Dwyer, Fairfax Digital, November 2004


Added by marcusescano on November 22, 2004