Reviews

Dolly Mixture Other Music LP

Last time I was in London (where I am from), there was a showing of the DOLLY MIXTURE documentary, and the movie theater was full of former indie pop girls, aging mods, and other subcultural types of an age to have been shaped by the first wave of British punk. There was an indignant mod who complained during the Q&A about the lack of evidence of their participation in the mod revival, which was the first time I thought about their band in that context. I always just assumed they were cutie pie C86 anorak types, but they actually formed in the ’70s, inspired equally by punk and ’60s girl groups. A total anomaly, they basically sort of invented a genre no one was ready for, and thus were relentlessly mocked by the punks and by more mainstream rock press. They toured with the UNDERTONES and were drenched in gob every night. As the mod revival happened, a space opened up for them, and their first 45 was released by none other than Paul Weller himself, but they clearly were not contained by that genre either, even if they fit in more in terms of the fan reaction. What does all o’ that mean in the face of this collection?! Unreleased DOLLY MIXTURE music?! I lost my mind and ordered this the second it was announced! Well it turns out most of it has been compiled before on CD, but there are a couple unreleased tracks! A different version of “How Come You’re Such a Hit with the Boys, Jane?” (supposedly about Jane from the MODETTES!?) and the beautiful “Same Mistake” which were supposed to be their first 45. The VELVET UNDERGROUND cover is really beautiful/cool, “Femme Fatale” really making the Brill Building roots of that group clear in a most Spector-ish fashion. The MOTT THE HOOPLE cover is also really charming/goofy, sounds almost like a cartoon theme song but in a good way! If you are at all intrigued by three cool teenage girls actualizing their vision of a girl-group punk-adjacent reality in the late ’70s/early ’80s, you need this! It’s a dream!