Ask most people to reel off the names of some Britpop bands, and it’s likely that few will be able to name more than Oasis, Blur, and Pulp. Despite being one of, if not the finest, British musical exports of the 90s, many of Britpop’s smaller bands have regrettably fallen into insignificance since the decline of the genre. 60 Ft. Dolls are one of these forgotten bands, having supported the likes of Oasis and Elastica in their heyday, they never truly broke through into the mainstream to make it big.
While its sound shows a harder, more aggressive edge to some of their Britpop contemporaries, their 1996 debut album ‘The Big 3’ showcases all the hallmarks of great 90s pop rock – the melodies are infectious, the guitars are fuzzy, and the lyrics tell of everyday British life. Particular highlights include the criminally catchy chorus and jangling guitar riffs of ‘Stay’, and ‘Pig Valentine’, which The New York Times named as one of its singles of the year in 1996. ‘Hair’, meanwhile, shows a slower, more melancholy side to the band.
Despite the relative success of the album at the time, backed up by extensive touring, the band was plagued by alcohol problems and undertook their final tour in 1997; before releasing just one more album and subsequently splitting up for good in 1998. It’s a shame that 60 Ft. Dolls failed to make a lasting impression on the public consciousness, and that ‘The Big 3’ has gone mostly forgotten. However, if you have any interest in bands of the Britpop era – especially those with a slightly harder sound – it’s an album that’s definitely worth a listen.