Dolls – ‘Killing Time/Sandman’

Introduced with an ominous two note guitar riff and staccato drumming, ‘Killing Time’ throbs at a daringly unhurried pace, showcasing Dolls mastery of the slow build. It’s pretty rare to see a band (a duo for that matter) prowl around that attention-grabbing hook across 4 minutes in a way that sustains both suspense and excitement.

Dynamically speaking, guitarist/singer Jade leads the song with a theatrical vocal that reminds of alternative icons like Siouxsie Sioux and Danielle Dax, well suited to the evocative lyrics (“we’re living the dream/ walking side by side like the cats with the cream”). At nearly two minutes in, the guitar finally breaks into fuzzier territory with barbed lead guitar swipes that hint at harder rock influences but intriguingly don’t commit. Drummer Sam Asbury does some proper heavy lifting here too, providing extra purchase on its slow groove when the music falls from a roar to a whisper.



‘Sandman’ is a far more straight forward piece of rock n roll on which the guitar and drums are comparatively let loose with a menacing rockabilly riff and a percussive freak-out in the middle. This track is audibly a bit more generous with overdubs and shows off yet more of their skill as musicians.

Lyrically the track trades on some sunglasses-after-dark imagery ("born in the belfry upside down/with the bells and the bats flying around") and is appropriately crooned in a way of which Lux Interior would have approved. Although more immediate, it is clear that 'Killing Time' is the lead song of the two but both tracks are excellent and will leave anyone who owns a pair of ears wanting to hear more.