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The early-80’s saw American punk and hardcore in prime form. Just how many landmark, new bands came out then, making albums that would soon become tremendously inspirational to so many musicians of both genders, all ages and distinct genres? Plasmatics weren’t eclipsed by anybody and made a name for themselves in the underground scene, where they’d prefer to fade into, rather than hitting the charts, unlike the decadent American classic rock dinosaurs, whose ways were at the time no longer appealing. It was bands like this who saved us from the decadence and dumbness of the 70’s veterans in America. Although Wendy & the boys were also aware of the need to evolve and improve, as they also knew the freshness of the punkish manners was about to expire. That’s what they exactly did on Metal Priestess, an EP where they started pushing away progressively the subgenre clichés and habits others soon made unprofitable and unsurprising.
So they’re trying something different here, not only on the “Doom Song” tune intro with that gothic organ and alienated prayer – the lyrics are also doomier than ever, in contrast with the as inflexible, rudimentary and simplistic as usual instrumental configuration. However, on that particular title, the energetic beat doesn’t go full-throttle, certain sobriety actually and thoughtfulness is breaking through. The pulse is pretty dynamic on “Black Leather Monster” but not chaotically-perpetrated either, unlike previous attempts. You see, this time even Stotts is taking his soloing duties much more seriously, making use of some unexpected bluesy bottle-neck, slide distortion on his self-indulgently extended solo – on the contrary, they still exceedingly rely on persuading catchphrase abuse. Definitely, the award for the most original verse-structure and lyrical content won’t go to Plasmatics, yet the indignation and violent modulation Wendy spits out those vocals with is what makes them so compelling and plausible. Contrary to the predominant punk-oriented mindset on those tracks, “12 Noon” swaggers with a more casual feel, to some extent funkin’ it up with the charismatic addition of cheerful guitar line textures and wah-wah pedal eloquence, serving Wendy’s apocalyptically-current words, driven by a blatantly flat, stable pace. More unusual manners are exposed on the melodically-motivated, ballad-like “Lunacy”, deriving delicate, smooth chords that accompany Wendy’s unexpectedly tender, tasty tone – speaking on other hand, of the kind of themes nerdy horror trash fans love to hear. So, to some extent this stuff is a bit of a premature prelude to the WOW’s softer, more commercial edge; as well the Maggots: The Record conception seems to start taking form here.
That’s one sneaky title for an EP which ain’t embracing no metal principles on any of its songs. The punkish context, the minimalist configuration, the harshness on those lyrics and the scruffiness as far as arranging is concerned clearly prove these guys ain’t courting by any means no heavy metal ways. Although in some other aspects, this stuff is a step forward – starting with the less-hyperactive beats, the slightly disciplined performance and the incorporation of parameters none of us expected. Think of the melodious sensitivity on “Lunacy” or the nice touch of funk on “12 Noon”, besides the ominous, mystical words on “Doom Song”, making obvious Plasmatics’ determination to elude predictable boundaries and strict rules of punk, yet not rushing the creative process carelessly. They’re not willing at all either to deny their roots and the philosophy on New Hope For The Wretched; musically only they’re opening their minds tolerantly, but the relentless controversy, the sharp message and the explicit stage act remains untouched. That might be the reason why they added conveniently that couple of live songs, to make clear they haven’t gone soft. “Masterplan” and “Sex Junkie” represent veraciously the integrity, uncompromising temperament and magnetic aggression of their shows – you can feel the perspiration, the intensity, you can nearly touch the atmosphere. The image of Wendy smashing something on the stage, encouraging the audience to participate and interact, squeezing out those cheeky, explicit verses, accompanied by Stotts & Bech’s raging guitars and Petri & Beauvoir’s edgy rhythm section, comes to your mind. It all makes this EP a pretty impassioned output, on which Plasmatics, regardless of their unprofessional skills and brutally simplistic song-writing policy, manage to knock out 6 more songs which capture and preserve the essence and flamboyance of the early days.
This EP didn’t take the band into a metal-minded direction yet, but it meant a step up in terms of rigor and subtlety, showing a noticeable improvement on the depth of the song-writing .If only Wagener and Dierks came into their lives a little bit earlier, suggesting an alternative perspective and arranging on the songs, which made the following record so memorable and complex (according to Plasmatics’s standards, naturally)...But this is a formidable, cogent attempt as well, representing a transitory phase on the band’s creative process, where they tried out different ideas most of their equals could never think up, setting things up for Coup D’Etat, most definitely. Not only punk fans will enjoy this, but rock and metal listeners as well.
Released in 1981, this Ep shows a band in the begining stages of what would become an infamous career. A very traditional Rock based Metal sound, with powerfull vocal arragements that range from slow clean singing, to rageing raspy screams, guitars wailing with tons of melodic rythms that build with strength few could emulate. With 6 tracks of pummeling metal prowess this Ep is a classic album every metal head should be quite familiar with. Wendy O's voice is a unique hybrid of influences that she shapes and commands in well done patterns, and on this album (like all Plasmatic's albums) words do little justice.
With an album title like "The Metal Priestess" you better fucking deliver the goods musically, and there is no room for complaints here. Many influences are rampant through out this release, most clear in the guitar work would be a strong New York punk influence, and total Motorhead worship while still retaining a completely independent, and ground breaking sound, or style. Catchy rythms pulse with the sexual overtones that Wendy O always seemed to conjure. With lines such as "Harder Faster", "Millions orgasm untill they die", and "Were made for sex", not to mention song titles like "Black Leather Monster", and "Sex Junkie" if you cant pick up on a few things there then your just fucking retarded. Holding there own along sides such classic Metal bands as The Mentors, and Motorhead (which is a feat in its own right) no one could out do the stage antics, and overt sexuality of Wendy O Williams, and The Plasmatics.
My personal picks would be Masterplan, and Sex Junkie because not only are they easily recognizeable tunes by this killer band, but are true testaments to what Metal will always stand for.
This Ep is a Heavy Metal classic which will stand the test of time for all the generations of Metalheads to come. RIP Wendy O, the True Metal Priestess!!!