Manchester Attack

Dresden Dolls Embracing Rock On New Album

While working on its upcoming sophomore album, Boston-bred punk-rock cabaret duo the Dresden Dolls looked to the past for inspiration

While working on its upcoming sophomore album, Boston-bred punk-rock cabaret duo the Dresden Dolls looked to the past for inspiration.

"I'd say about half of the material on the new record are songs that predate the first record," singer/pianist Amanda Palmer tells Billboard.com. "Some of them are even songs that predate the forming of the band, stuff I wrote in my teens and early twenties. Some stuff is more recently written, but I find it impossible to write on the road."

The pair's nonstop touring, which included a slot opening for Nine Inch Nails earlier this year, allowed it to road-test material for as-yet-untitled album, like "Backstabber," "Shores of California," "Sex Changes," "Mrs. O.," "My Alcoholic Friends" and "Delilah," the Dolls' attempt at a three-chord power ballad.

Unlike their self-titled debut, which was independently released in spring 2004 and re-released on Roadrunner Records in April, the new set, slated for a spring 2006 release, will veer away from the Dolls' signature dramatic cabaret sound, in favor of a "more rock'n'roll and less 'angsty' sound with less prose-y songwriting," according to Palmer.

With the help of producers (and fellow Bostonians) Sean Slade and Paul Q. Kolderie, the new project will also be under-produced in an effort to mimic the sound of the Dolls' live shows. "The band sounds at its best when it's live and raw, so we tried to go for that sound," Palmer says.

On Oct. 11, Dresden Dolls will issue a live DVD to showcase their eclectic show. "Paradise" will include an hour-long documentary following a day in the life of the band and "The Brigade," the motley crew of performance artists that keep the crowd entertained at every show.

On the Dolls' upcoming tour, which kicks off on Oct. 12 in Boulder, Colo., the Brigade will take direction from Montreal's Cirque Eloize, the traveling circus that will follow the band throughout the trek.