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For most of the NWOBHM fans, the 3 big and most successful bands of this killer metal wave were Iron Maiden, Saxon and Def Leppard, and these were the ones that managed to survive as the early ‘80s passed by (and the groups that sold more albums worldwide, outside the UK). But many others were left behind underrated, just forgot and some deadly wounded because of following a wrong direction (follow the glam fashion). I just think that Angel Witch, Venom, Raven or Tygers of Pan Tang are still terribly underrated and that’s a shame! On other hand, there were some other groups that didn’t reach the quality of these, and that’s the case of Rock Goddess. And I’m afraid that the little popularity they got was because (let us be honest with ourselves...) they were a band basically formed by a (pretty!) trio of female musicians.
“Hell Hath No Fury” was their second attack, and I have to say that you’ll feel a bit disappointed with this one if you compare it with their self-titled first album from the same year. Yeah the sound is still the same: entertaining hard rock, kinda cheesy silly love lyrics, catchy and simple songs...But in this album there’s a lack of the aggression, power and attitude that the first one had. So I don’t find it so amusing. “Hold Me Down” or “In The Night” are the typical Rock Goddess stuff: catchy,. Not spectacular nor remarkable, but an effective dose of good rock. And you couldn’t expect anything else than that, female bands by that time used to make music like this (we should wait some time for Warlock, Holy Moses, Sacrilege, Battlefield or Ice Age).
The rest of the tracks include a couple of ballads, “You’ve Got Fire” and “Don’t Want Your Love”, whose lyrics I wouldn’t take seriously at all, but anyway they’re done with passion. The finest moment of the album are “I’ve Seen It All Before” and “God Be With You” definitely, including some heavy riffs and nice lyrics. You can find also some old rock n’ roll sound in “Gotta Let Your Hair Down” and cheesy keyboards in “It Will Never Change” and in the weird “Visitors Are Here”, that make them sound abysmal.
I have to highlight the great work of Jody Turner in vocals, she’s got an awesome aggressive sexy voice and her guitar work too (game over for Kim McAulife). Her solos ain’t nothing out of this world, nor technical but as I said before, effective. Same with Dee O’Malley and my beloved Julie Turner beating her drums so fine, making the final result sound a lot better.
In conclusion, Rock Goddess are a professional band that rocks fine, and I would put her in ahigher level than Sledgehammer, Trespass, Battleaxe and even (or I should say “of course”?) Def Leppard. But to be honest, they never did anything special and I think the same of Girlschool, although thank God they never sounded like Vixen. So if you want to listen a group of gorgeous ladies rock hard, this is your album. But if you want to listen the NWOBHM in all its splendour, you’d better choose “Welcome To Hell”, “Killers” or “Rock Until You Drop”.
Rock Goddess was a productive all-female band that emerged in the mid 80’s and had to frequently contend with common and inevitable comparisons to titans Girlschool. Coming off the strength of a solid debut full-length, where the band established itself as a powerful, ironically ballsy pop tinged hard rock act, with strong grooves, and skill in song-crafting, the pressure was on the band to follow-up with something worthy of a place alongside their widely celebrated (and now cult classic) self-titled album. Some argue that this album failed in that task. Some argue that considerable aggression and energy was lacking on the record, leading it to have less impact and staying power than the predecessor, while others believe it’s another decent offering of all girl pop rock. To be honest, both are true. While this one doesn’t have quite the impact of the first, it’s still hard rock, very much in the same vein. A decent, though not overly strong or interesting offering that’s at least worth a few spins.
‘Gotta Let Your Hair Down’ showcases a band that still has a strong knack for crafting commercially sensitive, though rough and ready hard rock anthems. This one is basically a pretty strong lesson on how to rock hard, with ‘tude, and still be viable as a commercial act. Throughout the rest of the album, attempts at this same undertaking are either successful, or not so. ‘In the Night’ has some charm, but is a little flat, repetitive, and tired. Either way, Jody Turner is always on form. Her rough, snarling and gritty voice gives the band much of it’s character. She actually sounds quite a lot like the awesome Leather from Chastain when she is delivering with aggression, while has the ability to sound softer, and more soothing (Much of the early ‘The Visitors are Here’). Said track is an interesting, complex and drawn out offering and marks another high point on the album. It has a mixture of smoother, soft vocal sections, intertwined with hard rockin, punchy choruses, laden with heavy guitars. Huge hooks in this one are another exemplification of a solid-pop-rock writing outfit. Cool stuff here.
A pretty solid album, if lacking a wee bit in the power present on the first. A few songs feel a bit fillerish, while the aforementioned ‘Gotta Let Your Hair Down’ and ‘The Visitors are Here’ with it’s strange, keyboard infused, progressive feel, and interesting subject matter, are definite high points. Either way, this is a solid band – though they are often left standing in the shadow of scene-leaders Girlschool, Rock Goddess have their own sound, only sometimes playing the same style of heart, party hard power pop that Girlschool plays. On this album there are almost proggy touches coming through and plenty of soulful, passionately delivered vocals and choired backup sections. This band needs and deserves a bigger audience, so I advise picking this thing up, or at the very least, their debut offering. Solid, melodic hard rock here that is too frequently overlooked.