Label : Metal Blade Records

Review by Tony Cannella

The band Bitch, led by Betsy (Weiss) Bitch were one of the few female fronted metal bands that existed in the early 80s, they were also one of the more polarizing. Some people loved their straight-forward, in-your-face approach, while others were turned off by their overt references to s & m and sexual innuendo, never mind the fact that the band manage to deliver much of the material with tongue firmly planted in cheek – that went over a lot of people’s heads (Tipper Gore for example). But almost 30 years later there is no denying that Bitch were pioneers to the Femme Metal genre, okay maybe there is some deniability since it didn’t really catch on until much, much, much later, but still Bitch were one of the first to feature a dominant female vocalist and along the way they developed a devout cult following that exists to this day. Now the bands label Metal Blade has re-re-issued their 1982 EP “Damnation Alley” together on one disc with their 1983 debut full-length “Be My Slave” , remastered by Bill Metoyer and a bonus DVD featuring some live footage and other cool stuff for a new generation of Femme Metal fans to discover and enjoy. The first 10-songs are from 1983’s “Be My Slave”. By this time Bitch had a demo and an EP under their belt so the songs are more confident and the sound is more focused. “Right from the Start” gets the party started and is followed by what was to become a Bitch classic, “Be My Slave”. There is no lack of abrasiveness here in both music and lyrical subject matter as the band tears through songs like “Leatherbound”, “Heavy Metal Breakdown”, “In Heat” and “Make It Real (Make It Rock)”, which is a bitch repetitive but still a monster of a track. The majority of the material is very raw and tough – Betsy definitely had the tough girl, ‘I am in control’ attitude going. The last 5-songs are taken from the “Damnation Alley” EP, which spawned another Bitch classic “Live for the Whip” which still gets the audiences going to this day. “Let’s Go” concludes over one hour of music, this was never released before to my knowledge, so it is a cool way to end things. Bitch went on to release two more full-lengths and one EP before fading into obscurity for many years. In recent years however, Betsy has returned once again with Bitch as the band continues to deliver kick ass shows in both the U.S. and on the European festival circuit. Listening to these albums is like being revisited by an old friend. It’s been so long since I’ve heard them, and maybe the sound is a little dated (okay a lot dated), but the heart and spirit behind the music remains to same. It remains to be seen if Bitch will ever record again, even if they don’t at least they have left an enduring legacy – much to Tipper Gore’s chagrin.

Rating – 83/100

 

Tracklist

  1. Right from the Start
  2. Be My Slave
  3. Leatherbound
  4. Riding in Thunder
  5. Save You from the World
  6. Heavy Metal Breakdown
  7. Gimme a Kiss
  8. In Heat
  9. Make It Real (Make It Rock)
  10. World War III
  11. Saturdays
  12. Never Come Home
  13. Damnation Alley
  14. He’s Gone
  15. Live for the Whip
  16. Let’s Go

 

Line Up

  • Betsy Bitch – Vocals
  • David Carruth – Guitar
  • Richard Zusman – Bass on the “Damnation Alley” EP
  • Marc Anthony Webb – Bass on the “Damnation Alley” EP and “Be My Slave”
  • Robby Settles – Drums

 

Links

MySpace * Site

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