I checked out their music on MySpace and gave them my highest rating “This Music Doesn’t Suck”! YOU CAN SET YOUR OWN PRICE TO DOWNLOAD THEIR FULL ALBUMS FROM THEIR WEBSITE! They say any donation, even $0 gets you a whole album! Why are they doing that? Because, “We love our fans!” Losillë
Sporting a cowboy hat, ragged fairytale dress, striped long-leg tights and lace-up mega boots, One-Eyed Doll’s front woman Kimberly Freeman, is a wild-eyed presence even before she belts out a note. As soon as Freeman unleashes her voice on stage it’s combined by slashing, pulling and hammering on her guitar. Freeman’s on-stage persona is a mixed- up Strawberry Shortcake taking a wrong turn and ending up in Tim Burton’s infamous movie, Nightmare Before Christmas, creating the illusion of the unpredictable. That personality can be found throughout the band’s latest album, Break, which as with past releases, is innovatively offered to fans as a “name your price” to download the album for $10, $.50 or even free.
Named the #1 rock band in Austin, TX by Reverb Nation, One-Eyed Doll swept the SXSW Music Awards two years in a row (2009-2010) in numerous categories, including Best New Band, Best Punk Band, Best Metal Band, Best Goth Band, Best Female Vocalist and more. The band has appeared in Guitar World magazine, toured nationally with their eye-popping and ear-bending performances, which has won over reviewers, and has also found a devoted flock at major animation and comic conventions.
At One-Eyed Doll’s core is Freeman and drummer-producer Jason Rufuss Sewell, AKA “Junior.” The pair has worked together in the studio since 2006, Junior taking the drum throne in late 2009. Break follows two previous albums, Hole and Monster along with Freeman’s atmospheric Sleep, which is the title of her self released book about making the album. Freeman has also released another raw, acoustic and sometimes A Cappella album, Live on South Congress, which was recorded at various eclectic spots around Austin.
Freeman’s music journey began on the west coast, playing in coffeehouses around the Eugene, Oregon area, singing many songs she’d actually written while in China. Her time in the world’s most populace nation came after volunteer work she did with the American Red Cross following the tragic events of 9-11. She calls the experience working at Ground Zero “traumatizing.”
“I needed to leave the country, get some head space,” she says. With the experience teaching English as a second language she applied though she didn’t know a word of Chinese. “I had to learn quickly,” she says. “It’s amazing what the mind can accomplish under pressure.”
While working in China she also began performing – despite her insistence that she wasn’t a singer – her boss would trot her out before Chinese businessmen and politicians at events. “I’d sing old Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline tunes, old honky-tonk. They loved it. I started rewarding children in the classrooms with songs and once in a while threw in my songs and those affected them so much more.”
A little trouble in China kept Freeman there longer than intended, but when she returned home, she decided to try her hand at live performance with her grandfather’s old guitar.
Eventually, Freeman met some other musicians who asked her if she wanted to form a rock band and a new rock princess was crowned. The band hit the road on less than a shoestring budget and after a harrowing incident where the drummer jumped off a cliff into dubious shallow waters (he survived, but barely), the group ended up in Austin, where it dissolved. Freeman found a new home and formed One-Eyed Doll, creating a buzz with her larger-than-life performances.
While she’d never studied performance art, Freeman’s grandfather, Bernie Jones, was also a touring slapstick comedian– blind in one eye – but served as an inspiration to the band’s name. “The band name is a tribute to him and also comes from the metaphysical idea of a third eye,” states Freeman.
One-Eyed Dolls’ Break has been hailed as the band’s best album so far. Insight Magazine said the group has, “…turned in a studio recording that is as twisted, enchanting and real as their live show.” Break’s lead track, “Airplane Man,” was inspired by a bodybuilder friend who had “wings” of his own. Freeman calls the catchy and rocking “Beautiful Freak,” a slice of candy-feel pop, like the music she often heard in China. The theme of murder as metaphor surfaces in two songs, “Murder Ballad” and “Murder Suicide,” while “Cinderblock” is a child abuse story about a young child with an alcoholic father. “New Orleans” comes from an unfortunate and horrifying incident of racial violence witnessed in the Big Easy and “Resurrection” is a tale of young love, death and hope that sadly never comes.
Recently the San Antonio Music Examiner gave Freeman the ultimate comment claiming,” Freeman quickly becoming Texas’ own Joan Jett.”
“This is three-piece rock the way it should be done,” said The Aquarian, Sepiachord summed it up with, “The band has a wonderfully theatrical style, but they are a rock band. A kick ass rock band.”
With Break quickly making waves, a new band documentary that’s spreading the word, plus, a Tregan musical endorsement and full studio offerings through Freeman and Sewell’s Nebulost Productions, the One–Eyed Doll universe continues to expand.
In concert, songs from Break blast into new places, no two shows the same. “I never write set lists, It’s all spontaneous,” says Freeman, who’s been known to leap into crowds and then take a running charge to hurl herself back on stage, vaulting over drums to crash into Junior.
“It’s me, amplified,” Freeman says. “We never know what’s going to happen.” And that spontaneous combustion of rocking anticipation is what makes One-Eyed Doll so rare.