Painted Doll

About Painted Doll

How do a veteran heavy metal drummer and a comedian with a taste for power pop end up forming a band? In the case of Painted Doll, it was a simple matter of two music fans finding common ground in unexpected ways. Their sound is tuneful and full of melodic hooks, while noisy guitars and the influences of vintage hard rock and '60s garage psych add a sonic heaviness that strikes a balance against their pop leanings. The duo's self-titled 2018 debut album showed their unusual formula working quite well, while they opted to indulge their fondness for psychedelia on 2020's How to Draw Fire.
Painted Doll were formed by comic and author Dave Hill, who formerly played guitar with Cobra Verde and Valley Lodge, and Chris Reifert, leader of the death metal band Autopsy who has also worked with the groups Death and Abscess. Hill and Reifert first crossed paths at a show by Italian horror rock legends Goblin, and the two began trading notes on bands they liked, in particular obscure British and Dutch psychedelic acts. It didn't hurt that Hill is also a fan of black metal, and created a satirical dark metal band Witch Taint after trolling as the 19-year-old leader of the fictitious group to a Scandinavian black metal musician and label head. (Their lengthy e-mail exchange was later posted online as "The Black Metal Dialogues.") In time, the pair began exchanging ideas for songs, and in 2017 they decided to start making music under the name Painted Doll, with Hill on guitar, bass, keyboards, and vocals and Reifert on drums, guitar, and bass. Painted Doll's self-titled debut album was issued by stoner rock imprint Tee Pee Records in February 2018, and the band played a handful of live dates in support, including a show with Monster Magnet. For their concerts, Hill and Reifert were joined by bassist Erika Osterhout and guitarist Tom Beaujour; the latter also co-produced the debut album. Beaujour once again joined Hill and Reifert in the studio to cut the second Painted Doll album, 2020's How to Draw Fire, which better integrated their pop and rock facets while giving their psychedelic leanings a bigger showcase. ~ Mark Deming


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