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GIRLSCHOOL Guilty As Sin

By Rob McNees, Vinyl Aficionado
Monday, December 7, 2015 @ 4:47 PM


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GIRLSCHOOL
Guilty As Sin

2015 UDR Music




I'll start this review out by saying that I don't think GIRLSCHOOL gets any of the credit they deserve as the groundbreaking artist that they were. Heaps of praise go to HEART, rightfully so, as one of the earliest women to enter the realm of Hard Rock with the release of 1976's Dreamboat Annie. But the rest of their band were men. THE RUNAWAYS took it to the next level by not only being basically teenage girls, but being an all-girl band. Their debut came out the same year as HEART. Great Hard Rock. And their exploits can easily be found in books & a Hollywood blockbuster to boot. But GIRLSCHOOL were the 1st all female Metal band who came out smack dab in the prime of the NWOBHM. Their debut single, "Take It All Away" came out in 1979. My first introduction to GIRLSCHOOL didn't come until 1981, when I stumbled across the classic Hit And Run album. I have to admit that I was surprised at the heaviness, but also the catchiness of the tracks themselves. I also caught them live in 1982, as the opener for IRON MAIDEN and SCORPIONS as the headliner in The Summit in Houston, Texas.

Now I'm sure the girls themselves don't make a big deal about their stature as groundbreaking females because they just want to be known as a solid rock band. Duly noted, but I will give them the props they deserve. But, if you need more than my word, how about the thumbs up by none other than Lemmy himself. The original MOTORHEAD put out a split 10" single with GIRLSCHOOL in February 1981, with each band doing a cover of the other, and them all together doing "Please Don't Touch", a cover of JOHNNY KIDD & THE PIRATES. Now if Lemmy's seal of approval doesn't convince you, then I'm at a loss.

So what does GIRLSCHOOL 2015 have to offer then? For starters, it's almost the original gals that started it all, Kim McAuliffe - guitar, Enid Williams - bass & Denise Dufort - drums, except for tragically losing original guitarist Kelly Johnson to spinal cancer in 2007. Her replacement, Jackie Chambers, has been with the band since 2000. GS 2015 also still has the catchy and hook driven songs that you've known and loved since the beginning.

Guilty As Sin is the new album and "Come The Revolution" starts things off with a mid-tempo ditty with great backing vocals and a nice solo by Jackie. A bit repetitive at the end but I'm sure a fave in concert.

"Take It Like A Band" is the bangin' type of song I've always loved by them, up-tempo and high energy, a real cracking track with the early GIRLSCHOOL vibe, a definite fave!

The title track is next up, a thunderous guitar riff leading into a midpaced basher with a sing-a-long section in the middle. Hand clapping and a sing-a-long sure to follow live.

"Treasure" is a darker sounding track with a great melody line and chorus.

"Awkward Position" slows things down a bit but memorable with harmony vocals on the chorus. A song about friends with benefits maybe? Hmmm.

Being an old bastard, I unfortunately remember the 70's and disco. So does GIRLSCHOOL, although I give them horns high for taking a disco staple, "Staying Alive" by THE BEEG GEES, and giving it a swift kick in the bell bottom trousers and making it a classic rocker! A great job by making the song rock but still managing to keep it recognizable. Brilliant!

"Perfect Storm" slinks by without making a huge impact. Not terrible by any stretch but nothing that stands out as a track that would get repeated plays.

"Painful" is rather subdued and has an 80's kinda vibe to it, while the solo has a 70's retro sound. An interesting mix to say the least.

"Night Before" gets back to the uptempo game and is classic GIRLSCHOOL! This could have easily come off of Demolition with Denise pounding the skins. A headbanger to be sure! One of my faves!

"Everybody Loves (Saturday Night)" is the 2nd cover, and I'll admit I thought it was T-REX or something, but it's actually an obscure track by LORD KITCHERER from the UK. Even more amazing is that it's been covered by THE SERENDIPITY SINGERS and THE NEW CHRISTY MINSTRELS!!! Very unrock like, so YouTube them if you're curious. And again, GIRLSCHOOL takes a very unmetal like track and stands it on its head, with a crunchy riff and a bit of handclap action to boot. An infectious song that you will be singing later in your noggin', I can almost guarantee.

Guilty As Sin is a solid effort by the gals, maybe not as strong as the earlier material but then again, how many bands can match something that you've played for 3+ decades? I still champion their cause and would love to see them again live one day. Cheers you lot!

3.7 Skulls Out Of 5.0

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