Paperdoll EP


Ng / Artemis Records, 2000

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


I remember being absolutely astonished the first time that I heard the Canadian metal quartet Kittie. Not because they were young women playing intense music so well, but because they had such power in their debut release Spit that one normally doesn't find in such an early effort from any band. Thanks to this album and relentless touring, Kittie could well be called one of the best new groups of 2000.

But sometimes, it feels like forces - bands, labels, outside interests - want to capitalize on such new-found fame, and it's rare if they ever do the job right. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Paperdoll EP is, sadly, not one of those rarities. It has the feel of being rushed, and in effect takes away from some of Kittie's power.

The remix of the title track - well, let's face it, it was a good song to begin with. I didn't drag out my copy of Spit to compare the two versions, but there's nothing on the remix that would make me speak evil against either version of this track.

The bulk of Paperdoll EP was recorded live in Sweden - and therein lies the biggest problem with this disc. Frankly, the live renditions of these five tracks don't do the originals any justice. Part of the problem is a muddied sound - one wonders why this particular show was chosen, when Kittie has been part of so many powerful tours in the past year or so.

But a bigger part of the problem is that Kittie sometimes seems like they can't deliver the goods live the same way they do on record. Take the song "Brackish," for example - far less powerful than the version on Spit. The original was a track which would make you stand up at attention and salute the musical powers of these young ladies. This live version doesn't even come close to matching up.

There are times when it seems like Kittie is just interested in making semi-musical noise ("Raven"), and other times when they're just as happy obscenely taunting the audience. For the listener, it's just not as enjoyable as you'd like it to be - or as it probably could have been.

The disc does include a new video, this time for "Charlotte" - though I can't say I totally understood the premise. (I never got into art films that much - meaning I've all but ignored the video output of R.E.M.)

Paperdoll EP is a toss-away release, meant to tide the fans over until the next full-length effort from Kittie hits the shelves. One hopes it will be on the same level as Spit, and not as half-hearted as this one is.

Rating: C

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© 2000 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Ng / Artemis Records, and is used for informational purposes only.