Girlschool are back with their first original album in eight years. They first appeared on the music scene back in 1975 originally as an all female rock covers band called Painted Lady. By 1978 Kim McAuliffe and Enid Williams had recruited Kelly Johnson and Denise Dufort. Inspired by Wings' Mull of Kintyre B side the band became Girlschool. Dubbed the female Motorhead the band were big on the scene during the early 80's supporting some of the biggest bands in the genre and headlining festivals. Several line up changes and the usual band politics put Girlschool in detention in later years, although McAuliffe and Dufort remained a constant. The band brought in Jackie Chambers after Kelly Johnson left in 1999 and Enid Williams returned after an eighteen year hiatus in 2000.
Known for their raucous antics and penchant for having a laugh they waste no time in reminding us why they have been so popular and influential. Come The Revolution opens a bold and rousing return to form. It's energetic, infectious and perfect head banging fodder to get that party started. Take It Like A Band is inspired by the tough side of touring; the endless travelling the late nights and the buggered sat nav – any band on the road can relate to this. Of course the song is not just one big bitch, at its heart it is about the joy of performing and the camaraderie of the band which gets them through.
Awkward position is not about the seating arrangements on the tour bus however! It's Girlschool at their tongue in cheek best. Treasure heralds a more subtle sound which is also reflected in Kim's voice as the band eulogise about the Mother Earth. The compulsory Girlschool cover this time around is Staying Alive, not a track you would associate with a punk or even rock band but they do an amazing job of this Bee Gees classic. This reworking shifts the track from high falsetto to a growling alto belt, a distorted guitar replaces the electro sound and a fierce percussion section make the track more suited to Lemmy and a bottle of JD staggering down a Manhattan street rather than John Travolta strutting with a paint tin. As covers go it's one of the best.
The album just oozes the rebellious punk spirit that have made the band renowned, but delivers it in a sparky modern way thanks to the production from Chris Tsangarides. The sound and feel of Guilty As Sin just conjures up images of a dark, cramped, sweaty venue with flaying moshers, and beer stuck to the floor. The Girls show no signs in letting up, or growing up, in fact they sound more cohesive and dynamic than ever and just as willing to create some more of their influential music.