I was walking through the East Village the other day when a dark sticker triggered a strong memory in me. Someone had decided to slap a One Eyed Doll sticker on a pipe jutting out of a building and the second I saw it I was transported to another place.
I’d written about One Eyed Doll back in 2007 when I was writing my way to some extra college cash with music reviews and feature stories. I talked to Tyrese, interviewed Paramore before they were on anyone’s radar, and rubbed elbows with rappers. But there was nothing like the simple pleasure of receiving a CD in the mail.
One Eyed Doll was one of the artists that sent me a CD, and then when I wrote about her she followed up with a handwritten note thanking me along with a short stack of stickers. The same sticker I saw pegged to the pipe just a couple days back.
In honor of the romance of it all, I decided to do a quick search and dig up what I wrote about her three years ago. It’s funny the way we change and develop as writers but keep pieces of our voice close and consistent.
You can find the article below:
“One-Eyed Doll is dirty, corrupt, and dangerously sweet. Her dark, humid rock tantalizes heavy metal fans and grants entrance to the mainstream with bustling popular harmonies. Adorned with humungous guitar riffs and Kimberly Freeman’s sugared girlish voice, the debut album Hole will send you into a fit of pleasurable desolation.
One-Eyed Doll doesn’t hesitate to reveal what’s on her mind. Her candied voice praises suicide and Prozac, and sends and ode to needles in a mental hospital. To contrast the disturbed images of desperation, One-Eyed Doll also stands strong for what she believes.
She won’t tolerate players, abuse, or hypocritical America. Freeman stands strong against an ex in “Scapegoat.” The track is introduced with a plucking guitar progression before drums slide into the background as the track oscillates between slow composure and raging intolerance.
“And I’m not your scapegoat, / And I’m not your punching bag, / And I won’t be sorry, / Cause I’m the best thing that you’ll never have,” Freeman fumes. “Scapegoat” has all the elements of the sweet and anti-authoritarian Avril Lavigne at her best. Only Kimberly Freeman takes on this role naturally, while it seems Avril has to strive to achieve the disaffected image.
The assailing side of One-Eyed Doll attacks listeners with “Suicide Serenade.” We become acquainted to this track with the first four notes of the “Star Spangled Banner.” Just as a singer might say “see,” the guitars scream with fierce anger before coming to a close. Then a pop beat combines with Freeman’s sweetest voice to bop a repetition of “Happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy America!” The track quickly teeters back to harsh metal and descriptions of people falling to their graves.
“Master” broadcasts the artsy side of Kimberly Freeman’s work. The subtle track holds an aura of slow paced surrealism. A sample of laughing and screaming kids quietly decorates the track as the simple track radiates with raw beauty. The quirky side of One-Eyed Monster reveals itself in “Hoochie Mama.” Scott Sutton, who appears as a frequent guest throughout Hole, shines on the drums during this track. Sutton slams the percussion while changing tempo and rhythm. Freeman’s intelligent and playful lyrics refuse to allow a seedy man to think he has a chance with her.
“You think it should be easy to get in my pants. Well it took me five minutes to put these things on, I can hardly breathe let alone be turned on,” Freeman seethes. “And I don’t want to hear your new death metal riff,” she adds to drive home her disinterest. Disturbing yet wonderfully addictive, One-Eyed Doll proves that Kimberly Freeman is the foul, daring girl that every man wants but won’t necessarily get.
The Austin-based artist won’t let men control her, and she’s certainly not taking anybody’s foolishness. One-Eyed Doll would prefer control your emotions with her hook laden tracks, incredible voice, and diverse range.”