One Day It Will Please Us To Remember Even This
”Anyone in this band can be replaced,” New York Dolls frontman David Johansen reportedly huffed to his bandmates on the eve of their contentious 1975 breakup. Now, with everyone except Johansen and guitarist Sylvain Sylvain dead, that pronouncement has come to grimly ironic fruition on the group’s putative ”comeback” CD, One Day It Will Please Us To Remember Even This.
If you’re heavily invested in the Dolls mythos — precursors of punk, drugged-out beautiful losers, yada yada — you’ll be disappointed. As fans, we miss Johnny Thunders’ strangled-cat guitar wrangling and the band’s air of careening mayhem. Still, One Day pleases us, especially since Johansen, Syl, and the new Dollettes don’t try to replicate the old sound but opt for the rowdy professionalism of Johansen’s ’70s/’80s solo efforts.
And make no mistake: That’s a good thing. ”Dance Like a Monkey” will make you want to do just that; ”We’re All in Love” conjures the Dolls’ pansexual vibe; and ”Maimed Happiness” is simply a great urban-ennui ballad. Michael Stipe shows up on one track, reminding us that though the Dolls never sold many records, they were deities to scores of hipsters. The only thing that truly bugs us is that self-deprecating title. The original New York Dolls had an insatiable hunger for life, kicks, and most aspects of the human experience, but they stayed well clear of false humility.