Barb Wire Dolls say goodbye to Los Angeles

Barb Wire Dolls played their last LA show for a while and now embark on a U.S. and European tour Photo: Barb WIre Dolls at the Viper Room/Kevin Wells Photo

LOS ANGELES, April 25, 2013 — The Barb Wire Dolls played their final show in Los Angeles on Wednesday night at the Viper Room on Sunset Blvd. After hearing their music and seeing some clips on youtube, expectations were set high for Barb Wire Dolls.

Krash Doll/Kevin Wells Photo


They did not disappoint, in fact, they exceeded all expectations. Barb Wire Dolls opened with “Shut Up Slut” and the energy never ceased as they weaved their way through the songs from their album, Slit. The energetic stage presence of lead singer Isis rates up there with some of the best.

Isis head bangs, rolls on the floor, jumps into the crowd, gets nose to nose with those close to the stage, and dances around a stage, which she clearly owns. Her vocals were better than they were on the recorded versions. She can take her voice from clean to raspy and back again, seemingly, without effort.

Barb Wire Dolls consists of Isis on vocals, Krash on drums and Pyn on guitar. There is no bass player, which is rare in the world of punk. Even when Black Flag played the cat benefit without a bass player on some songs, they had a programmed bass track that played with them.

Pyn Doll/Kevin Wells Photo


Pyn takes care of the need for a bass by playing through two Marshall half stacks and a full bass rig. It works and it sounds just as full as if there were a bass player present. Krash’s drums were relentless.

Barb Wire Dolls formed on the island of Crete in 2010. They eventually migrated to Los Angeles and like a rock, things just began to roll. Their debut album, Slit, was recorded by Steve Albini and is available on vinyl, CD and digitally. They are nearly 100% DIY, only working with a label for distribution purposes.

Between songs, Isis would cajole the crowd and speak of the need to start a revolution and to seek change while Pyn would tinker with something on guitar. A few times some people from the crowd made their way to the stage where the band was more than happy to share their space and dance and play along.

Barb Wire Dolls/Kevin Wells Photo


There is a lot to be said for a punk band that sounds better live than on their controlled recordings. Each song is played with the same amount of energy and you get the feeling that it would be the same in front of 10 people or 50,000.

The show was also being recorded for a live record, which is definitely something to look forward to. After the show, Isis was on the street selling shirts, records, posters and stickers out of a coffin shaped case.

Barb Wire Dolls have now said goodbye to Los Angeles, at least for the immediate future. Their U.S. tour continues on Apr 26 in Seattle and then makes its way through the mid-west and then to the east coast. From the east coast they will travel to Austria, Hungary, Serbia, and Greece in June with more European dates still to be announced.

If you find yourself anywhere close to where they are playing, make the trip and see them. The show is well worth whatever they are charging. Take pictures and video and share them with your friends. Punk rock is best enjoyed when it is being shared with as many friends as possible. Hopefully, Barb Wire Dolls will make their way back to Los Angeles sooner than later.

Kevin J. Wells writes about Major League Baseball and punk rock music.  Follow him on Twitter @WellsOnBaseball


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Kevin Wells

Kevin J. Wells was born and raised in the Los Angeles area in a town called Montrose.  He currently plays guitar for and is a founding member of the Los Angeles punk rock band Emmer Effer.  He has worked in a number of different career fields including Behavioral Therapy, Commodities, Insurance, and most recently a food cart in Portland, OR.


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