More info: www.girlschoool.co.uk
Verdict (& Rating): Still alive and rocking hard (70%)
I thought that this lot had bit the dust a long time ago – I would have guessed sometime around 1985. I was quite surprised to read they had released a new album. In fact, a quick check of their web site reveals that they have been going in various line-ups right from the 1978 to the present day, albeit with little activity mid to late 90’s. Back in 2002 they released a 21st anniversary album called “Not That Innocent”. The line-up for new this album is original members Kim McAuliffe (guitar & lead vocals), Enid Williams (bass & lead vocals) and Denise Dufort (drums) together with new girl Jackie Chambers (guitars & backing vocals).
I remember listening to sessions by the band on BBC One’s Friday Rock Show. However, the only time they made it into my record collection was with their St. Valentine’s Day Massacre collaboration with Motorhead. Way back then the band’s style was metal meets punk. And the band are sticking to the formula that proved successful during the early to mid 80s. This certainly is the case on opening track “Come On Up”. “Let’s Get Hard” adds more metal to the formula and has more of an impact. On “Crazy” the girls slow things down a little sounding a bit like Romeo’s Daughter on the verses and sing rather than shout on the chorus making this my favorite track on the album. The punk elements get turned up on “We All Love To” and the sound is Pistols meets Joan Jett. “Secret” and “New Beginning” both pass by with no surprises. “C’Mon” has a deserved confident swagger to it. “Never Say Never” romps along nicely. “You Say” is a ‘so-so’ mid-tempo track. The band get back on track with “Feel Good” which sounds like ZZ Top’s “Tush” in places. By this stage the band have set the scene and rock their way through “Hold On Tight”, “Yes Means Yes”, “We All Have To Choose”, “Play Around” and “Passion” to the end of album, with “Passion” having an extra helping of melody and being a strong finish.
So Girlschool are still alive and definitely kicking as hard as they ever did. Way back in the 80s I always found their sound a little too “rough” for my personal tastes and the couple of tracks where they added a little more melody on this album only served to remind me of that and had me wanting them to ‘wimp out’ a little. Then it wouldn’t be Girlschool anymore!!!