The Dresden Dolls are creepy. The duo consists of a girl
singing at her piano with a guy playing drums as back-up. But Norah Jones this isn't. Ohhhhhh no. Don't even go there.
Most of these songs are violently dissonant. Not just partially
minor, not even overtly minor- these are violently dissonant. Amanda Parker, the primary songwriter, uses her piano like a
weapon, dispersing angry firebombs disguised as songs at whim. Her topics: sex, loneliness, medication, depression, self-mutilation,
pain, anger (at her parents, the society- hell, just everyone in general), and oh yeah, how she breaks boys. She's hardcore.
The Brachtian Punk Cabaret Duo (read up on that self-imposed
title on their site- it's quite exciting) is punchy, blistering, and full- you wouldn't expect a sound this full from just
two instruments. But the piano is loud and complex, and whatever the piano doesn't pick up in sheer volume, the drums make
up for. Parker's vocals help out too- the best I can figure, she has at least a 2.5 octave range, from the lowest low on the
contorted "Half-Jack" to the highest high on the schizophrenic pop piece "Coin-Operated Boy". Can you say operatic? I can.
She tends to fall in the lower half of her range most often, giving these songs a unique vibe, as NO girl in pop dares to
sing in a baritone range- except Amanda Parker.
The individual songs range from beautiful ballads (the
painfully short "672") to Ben Folds-ish pop (The aforementioned "Coin-Operated Boy", "The Jeep Song") to demented rock ("Girl
Anachronism", "Bad Habit") to jazzy digressions (the disturbing "Missed Me") to epic pop pieces (The highlight track "Half-Jack").