Monster High doll review/Koffin Kats CD review

Monster High Doll line review:
Pale grey skin, limbs held together with stitches, and a mixed pair of eyes – one blue and one green – peering out from under black hair streaked with grey. One of Mattel’s newest creations is now terrorizing the children’s aisle – Frankie Stein, the sweet and naïve daughter of the Frankenstein monster. Maybe she’s not so scary after all.

Barbie is taking a back seat as Mattel has hit the tween jackpot with its new line of fashion dolls that put a twist on classic monsters. Joining Frankie Stein is an array of “freaky fabulous” monsters from Clawdeen, the daughter of the Wolf Man, to Ghoulia, the daughter of zombies, to Draculaura… well, you get the point.

Each doll stands about 13 inches tall and comes with a stand and spooktacular accessories such as a phone shaped like a coffin or a purse made of bones. Hair and skin colors vary from pink to green to grey, making Monster High a refreshing (or un-refreshing if you own a Ghoulia doll) variety compared to other fashion doll lines such as Barbie. Through their webisodes and television specials, Monster High preaches acceptance of your “freaky flaws” because everyone, even monsters, is fabulous.

While this is a step in the right direction, there is a tragic flaw here: There isn’t any variety in body shape. Each doll is stick thin, has a disproportionally big head, and is decked out in elaborate outfits most tweens probably can’t afford or even find in real life – unless kid’s companies have taken a morbid turn and started selling purses made of bones. But even though Monster High tries to teach acceptance, the message young girls are getting is that thin – even if you’re green – is prettier.

Koffin Kats CD Review: Our Way and The Highway
The Koffin Kats aren’t afraid to break the rules. Once again this psychobilly trio has created an album that doesn’t sound like the standard 1950’s B-movie horror tribute. Our Way and The Highway, the band’s sixth album, is more of a punk rock record with an upright bass. During the opening song, “Riding High,” is the sound of Vic Victor slapping his upright bass at a speed sure to bloody his fingers over guitar chords and drum beats more reminiscent of Black Flag than The Meteors.

Even the lyrics are far from standard. Songs such as “The Bottle Called” and “It Happens Every Night” deal with the band’s personal demons regarding alcoholism and partying. Example: “The bottle called and you can’t ignore/for it’s the last love you will ever adore.” Victor belts out those hard-hitting lyrics like he’s just attended a funeral service for his lost love – his love being the bottle. Life on the road and relationships are also covered with songs such as “The Way of the Road” and “Baby Don’t Love You.”

But with the serious shift in lyrics, they’ve traded some of their high-energy thrashing for a darker, grittier, and slower sound than their previous CDs with songs like “A Terrible Way.” Yet Victor’s twang-punk-Elvis voice doesn’t disappoint, as it’s just as strong – if not stronger – than ever. Our Way and The Highway may be different than what the fans are used to, but it still makes you want to break the rules too.

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