Sporting their newest effort, London-based GIRLSCHOOL present their lucky number 13 album to the world. Excellently produced by Chris Tsangarides, Guilty As Sin (out now, UDR Music), shows the world that these ladies can still kick some British royal butt. The album follows Hit and Run – Revisited from 2011. The band is Kim McAuliffe (vocals and guitar), Enid Williams (vocals and bass), Denise Dufort (backing vocals and drums) and Jackie Chambers (backing vocals and guitar).
Guilty As Sin has ten tracks, three of which were released on the American only debut EP appropriately titled Propaganda. GIRLSCHOOL will team up with old friends SAXON and MOTÖRHEAD on a European tour beginning this November. (Amps and Green Screens offers sincere condolences to the family and friends of Phil Taylor, former MOTÖRHEAD drummer, who recently passed away. No doubt a close friend of the band).
Rapidly put together in less than two months time, and heading off the Guilty As Sin rebellion is “Come the Revolution”. Written and sung by Williams she brings forth her message to arise and take a stand for…I guess whatever is the cause; we know animal rights take a strong stand with the ladies. Not all bad to keep the fight on the firing line. Next? “Take it Like a Band”…..about all the sheeeit bands have to endure. Also debuted on Propaganda, a lyric video was released which you can find HERE. You knew it was coming, the fast beat, punky sounds that the ladies are known for. “East to west, back again, motorway madness it’s insane, locked in, packed in like sardines, all we wanna do is SCREAM”.
With a catchy, crunching guitar riff and definite big-time Chambers influence, the title track “Guilty as Sin” gets your attention quickly. Not complex, but give me room to dance to this one. Excellent four-punk harmony …the GIRLSCHOOL I love. Did someone say “cowbell”? My favorite on the LP. “Treasure” is a very distinct Williams tune. There’s a simple message to “treasure the Earth”. Enid dominates the vocals here with a melancholy feel. “Awkward Position” also keeps things at a bit slower bump and grind pace. A bit naughty, but the right beat to be a bit raunchy. I volunteer for personal demonstrations, y’all and will bring the blindfold.
There’s an unexpected, brilliant cover song “Staying Alive” by the BEE GEES, from the 70’s disco era..my time. Yeah, I was part of the disco period and did have a white polyester suit and silk shirts (don’t tell anyone). I have to admit, it all works really well. Surprisingly a favorite for me. Segway from “Treasure” is “Perfect Storm” the girl’s message about global warming. Some tasty solo work from Chambers contained within. ”Painful” also keeps the pace a bit slower. An older archived original between Kim and Jax, I like the lyrics on this as it describes well the emotions we might experience having one night stands.
“Night Before” brings me back to reality about who I’m listening to. The sound that makes this band what it is, comes back to life. After two tracks that are pretty deep, Dufort’s fast paced skins work and McAuliffe’s vocals remind me of why I fell in love with this band. Of course “Everybody Loves Saturday Night” is about “letting your hair down” and having fun. I can’t say this tune does a whole lot for me…too close to a rock and roll rap song.
Overall, Guilty As Sin a really good record. Eclectic is very much the word on this LP. There is a lot of variety and it’s very obvious everyone contributed in many different ways. A bit experimental I would say and some tracks are different from what I’m used to from them. I’m not huge on bringing a political slant to music, due to the controversy generally surrounding those topics, but I am a big fan and all, for a long time. Cheers you lot!
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Guilty as Sin”, “Take it Like a Band”, “Staying Alive”, “Night Before”