BETTY BLOWTORCH


"Are You Man Enough?" (Foodchain Records; 2001)

Reviewed by Jason Savage

I recently caught the buzz about a new metal band out of LA called Betty Blowtorch. At first, I thought this was some joke band, especially with names like Bianca Butthole on bass and vocals, Sharon Needles on guitar, Blare N. Bitch on lead axe and Judy Molish on drums. Curiosity killed the cat, so to speak, and I found myself at their website. Their press and bio left me speechless. Here is a sample of what they say at http://www.bettyblowtorch.com

Meet Betty Blowtorch. Four foul-mouthed, power-tool-crazy rock n' roll hussies who will fix your car and then hump you on top of it! Betty Blowtorch does whatever she wants. Sometimes she's poppy, other times she's hard and rough, but she's always up to no good! Betty never holds back. She plays it like she lives it - honest and raw - with songs like "Hell On Wheels," and "Love/Hate," but Betty has a sense of humor too. Just listen to "Size Queen" and "Shut Up and Fuck."

Their bio says they were "formed in Los Angeles in 1998, and almost immediately word began to spread about their raucous, captivating live shows. It wasn't long before they caught the attention of Duff McKagan (Guns N' Roses), who produced the band's limited edition EP, "Get Off." Bianca,  Sharon and Blare had played together previously in Butt Trumpet, a hard-core punk band that became a named target of the PMRC with their EMI release "Primitive Enema." When their label wanted them to sing songs about flowers and virgins, Butt Trumpet went into voluntary early retirement. "I'm Ugly And I Don't Know Why," a crowd favorite, is the lone holdover from the Butt  Trumpet days.

I was very intrigued at this point so I decided to try and obtain a demo. Food Chain records sent me the disc very promptly. Produced and engineered by Matt Hyde (Monster Magnet, Porno for Pyros), I gave it a spin. This is what I discovered:

"Hell on Wheels" brought this party to life very quickly. Bianca's rebellious and sleazy voice set the mood perfectly, sounding like a cross between Janet Gardner from Vixen meets Donita Sparks from L7 with a thick coating of Joan Jett and a pinch of Louise Post and Nina Gordon from Veruca Salt. It must take a lot of whisky and cigarettes to keep her voicebox in shape. Musically, it makes a great party anthem with 80's metal chords reminiscent of a "coked up" AC/DC.

Seeing as how there are 15 songs on this anthemic hard rock ride, I will just touch base on the more ear-wrenching tracks. From the punkish "Love/Hate," to "Size Queen," featuring the infamous Vanilla Ice adding a really cool rap verse (Did I just say that? He actually sounds pretty tough, unlike his "Ice, Ice, Baby" days), these LA sleaze rockers know how to party hard. Other notable tracks are "Shut Up and Fuck," "Part-Time Hooker," "Rock My World," "Strung Out," and "Rock N' Roll 69."

Betty Blowtorch are very talented musicians. I heard some wild guitar licks best described as ballsy power chords and heavy pounding drum beats. The bonus here in seeing them live is that this is done by a bunch of hot chicks in denim and leather. 

Pound for pound, Betty is better than a lot of the newer acts floating down the river out to sea that seem to be sinking fast. 80's metal is avant garde once again and Betty is leading the charge. Pick  this up immediately. It is sure to please the animals drinking at your house, at least for 45 minutes or so. (Most of the tracks clock in at under 3 minutes.) Bianca sums up the attitude best: "We want to rock, tour and have fun. Anything else is a waste of time."

Check out http://www.bettyblowtorch.com


Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

 


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Copyright 2001 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 02 Oct 2017 09:17:44 -0400 .