Girl’s debut album ‘Sheer Greed’ wasn’t a massive success upon release in January 1980. It reached a modest #33 on the UK album chart and spawned two flop singles. With Iron Maiden, Saxon, Judas Priest and Motorhead all scoring top five hits on the album charts during the year, so with that in mind, Girl’s chart placing seemed somewhat modest. However, what the young band had lacked in sales they made up for with a sheer weight of live appearances. Regulars at the legendary Marquee, the band also supported a lot of famous rock acts throughout 1980 and 1981 and rarely seemed to be off the road.
Following Cherry Red’s 2CD reissue of Girl’s debut album ‘Sheer Greed’, the label are set to release a massive 6CD edition of the band’s second album ‘Wasted Youth’ in January 2020.
The band was the launch pad for the careers of Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen and LA Guns vocalist Phil Lewis. The band found themselves on the fringes of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal and glam scenes and were a popular live draw in the early 80s.
Often associated with the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, glam rock band Girl formed in London in 1979. Gaining a following on the live circuit, they quickly signed to Don Arden’s Jet Records – home to Electric Light Orchestra and Magnum – and released their debut album ‘Sheer Greed’ the following year. Decades on, if ‘Sheer Greed’ is mentioned at all, it’s by association. The band’s frontman, Philip Lewis, later joined L.A. Guns and guitarist Phil Collen replaced Pete Willis in Def Leppard, first appearing on the band’s third album – 1983’s multi-million selling ‘Pyromania’. Girl were always a reasonably good band in their own right, of course, and although by no means perfect, ‘Sheer Greed’ has enough good moments to remind listeners why they perhaps deserve a little more credit of their own.
Following the success of ‘Pyromania’, ‘Hysteria’ and ‘Adrenalize’ 2CD deluxe editions, Def Leppard are giving ‘Slang’ similar treatment in February 2014.
Moving away from the band’s signature sound, ‘Slang’ is a “Marmite” album for fans (ie: they either love it or hate it), but despite the mixed response, it still scored the Leps three hit singles in the title track, ‘Promises’ and ‘Work It Out’.
Most of Nickelback’s singles have been pretty lightweight. ‘How You Remind Me’ is a half-decent rock radio single, and ‘Rockstar’ is hugely unchallenging. For those willing to not care about credibility and dig a little deeper, Nickelback’s album tracks can occasionally offer something a little tougher, tunes that kick while retaining a certain level of user-friendliness.
And so it is with Nickelback’s ‘Dark Horse’. The album utilises all of Mutt Lange’s best tricks, and thanks to his partial presence, the band’s music has moved from tired sounding post-grunge, to more classic sounding hard rock. From the crunch of the opener it’s a good attempt at an attention grabber with a meaty riff in tow, but sadly, Chad Kroeger is an appalling lyricist and here he peddles out a bunch of smut that would make even Mötley Crüe cringe. This opening song is called ‘Something In Your Mouth’. I’m not gonna go into details, but let’s just say Kroeger sings about strippers – and not in a fun way.
Okay. With regard to the tunes which follow,‘Dark Horse’ there’s some enjoyable tunes, but excrutiating lyrics throughout spoil any chance of it ever being a decent record. During ‘Next Go Round’ Chad Kroeger sings (seemingly without irony) about doing it ‘until [he’s] good and sweaty until [he] can’t stand up’ and how he wants to be ridden ‘up and down the lawn’ (presumably like a tractor, since he name checks John Deere). Jesus Christ. During several other songs, Kroeger makes other lewd sexual references which spoil otherwise decent tunes.
‘Burn It To The Ground’ matches a hard driving riff with a huge chorus. The ‘hey’ vocal here is surely a sample (1000 Joe Elliotts?); overall, the end result is a winner. Sure, as expected, the lyrics are plain dumb, but at least this time Kroeger’s not thinking with his nob. Hmmm, a song about partying and drinking, on an album full of crass songs about girls? I sense a midlife crisis.
Mutt Lange’s work is the best thing about this record. Since with some help Nickelback can now present consistently decent tunes, maybe next time they’ll get someone clever in to help write the lyrics. I’m not sure Chad Kroeger can even spell
shover chauver chauvinism.
Watch Chad talk about his house here! Could be better than the real thing.