CD Review: New York Dolls

Dancing Backward in High Heels (429)

On their 2006 reunion album — and first record in 32 years — the New York Dolls ran the gamut from classic punk mimicry to straight-up Andrew W.K. imitation. Since they're unlikely to ever top it, or their two 1970s classics, the Dolls (only singer David Johansen and guitarist Sylvain Sylvain remain from the original group) loosen up and don't worry too hard about trying on Dancing Backward in High Heels, the follow-up to 2009's Cause I Sez So. There's very little riffage, but the punk attitude is back, with the 25-second "Fabulous Rant" and the cover "I Sold My Heart to the Junkman." Still, with the old Dolls you wouldn't expect a jam called "Streetcake" to be a love song that name-checks both Mitch Ryder and Marie Antoinette. — Dan Weiss