"Girls Got Rhythm" (Liquor and Poker Music; 2006)

Reviewed by Ray Van Horn Jr.

We can sit here all day and trace the history of ladies in metal, particularly with the upswing of girls helming revival sleaze rock bands such as Slunt, Crucified Barbara, SSX and many others. Back in the eighties, it was hard enough for Girlschool, Wendy O. Williams, The Pandoras, Smashed Gladys, The Great Kat and Bitch to get taken seriously in a predominantly testosterone-laced industry. Lita Ford and Vixen are generally considered the first breakthrough female acts in metal, and of course, there's Warlock and the enigmatic Doro Pesch, whose continued presence makes her the foremother of today's femme metal revue. This is why "Girls Got Rhythm" is partially a novelty and partially a sense of closure on what once was in the world of metal.

Perhaps the main drag about "Girls Got Rhythm" is that it reads on paper like a ridiculous parody of classic metal tunes when you have tribute band names like Cheap Chick, Hell's Belles, Ms.Fits and The Iron Maidens, the latter of who have been around longer than you think. If you're thinking these ladies are going to icepick your favorite metal jams to death like Sharon Stone does in the middle of an orgasm, cut them some slack. When you hear The Iron Maidens shred through "Run to the Hills," you have to give them a measure of respect; a cover tune is a cover tune is a cover tune, but this "Run to the Hills" is impressively done. Even you intransigent sexists will undoubtedly say "Pretty good for a bunch of skirts." Shit, pretty good for Iron Maiden themselves on an off-night!

While cover albums get monotonous after awhile, at least Girls Got Rhythm has some staying power by the time you hit Whole Lotta Rosie's rendition of AC/DC's "Dog Eat Dog," a song you rarely hear outside of someone's banged-up Nova these days. The original's sordid groove remains intact on this cover while Nancy Luca pulls off a slower-timed but still pretty good Angus Young on her solos. Let's see you nail those complicated sequences! 

Other highlights on Girls Got Rhythm are Zepperella's "Lemon Song," The Little Dolls' "I Don't Know" and Ramonas' "Sheena is a Punk Rocker," which is an appropriately grimy and poppy version to remember the greatest three-chord rock band in history by. That underscores the charm of this project, and while there'll undoubtedly be the skeptics amongst you about the premise of "Girls Got Rhythm," my advice is to lay no expectations on it and you might be pleasantly surprised.

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 2006 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 04 Oct 2018 19:54:49 -0400.