File this under "better than expected." Thirty-two years have passed since the New York Dolls' second album, Too Much Too Soon. In that time, the group has seen the demise of three of its five original members, including the sad passing of bassist Arthur "Killer" Kane after he, David Johansen, and Sylvain Sylvain reunited live two years ago. The latter two survivors (and their four new mates) recently earned hosannas for their surprisingly great live shows.
Venerated posthumously as punk pioneers presaging (sparking?) the Ramones-Sex Pistols-Saints global explosion, the Dolls were also a superb R&B-glam outfit, whose raunch and roll came alive on covers of Bo Diddley and Sonny Boy Williamson. That same tone dominates One Day, although they do miss the penchant for mayhem, dangerous leads, and knack for hot riffs of late guitarist Johnny Thunders.
The opener, "We're All in Love," recalls those old days with a nice update on the cranking "It's Too Late"/"Don't You Start Me Talking" riff. Several other tracks are imbued with a strutting attitude that meets sloppy chops, while Johansen's uncanny voice is as syrupy as ever. The second half of the disc is the lesser part, but by then, the point has been made. There's life in these Dolls.
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