By Kenny McMurtrie
Having never thought much of Mary Beats Jane as a band name, I’ve never previously had a much experience of Peter Dolving’s work with that outfit or more recently with The Haunted. This new solo album, which at times sounds like quite a throwback to late eighties/early nineties industrial, featuring as it does elements of the sounds of Nine Inch Nails and Killing Joke, is probably not, though, indicative of the styles he began his singing career performing.
Angst and self-indulgence are quite often evident in the subject matter covered (particularly on ‘Ordinary Folk’) but on the whole the musical side of things is interesting enough to compensate for seeming emotional (and lyrical) immaturity. ‘Sunday Mornings’ comes on like a skewed take on the earlier work of Jane’s Addiction whilst opener ‘Meinhof’ is practically space-rock. One can also quite easily imagine Alice Cooper pulling off a competent cover version of ‘Song For You’.
I can never seem to listen to this sort of stuff without for some reason thinking there’s a lot of underlying self-loathing on the go. Emotions often run high in such works and being let down by a partner, cuckolded or some other fearful setback along the road to true love always seem to add fuel to the creative furnace, coupled with a need to even the score. Final track ‘All This Beauty’ seems to bear this out with its words of acceptance and forgiveness – “It doesn’t matter what you did” – and closing sample of seeming, for now, preserved domestic bliss in the shape of the voices of children at play. That said Dolving also sings “Let’s destroy ourselves together”, so things might not be quite so rosy after all.