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Hit And Run: Revisited

Wacken (2011)
Rating: 6.5/10

Girlschool are known as the female Motörhead for good reason. Since they hit the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal scene in the late 70s the band have been a driving rock ’n’ roll force. They have survived membership changes, the lean years of rock music, sexism and the rock ’n’ roll lifestyle. Through it all they have kept the flag flying and in honour of their perseverance they have revisited their 1981 debut album, Hit And Run. The ladies re-recorded the entire album as well as two bonus tracks (‘Demolition Boys’ and an extra title track featuring the almighty Doro Pesch).

The album opens with the snoringly introduced ‘C’Mon Let’s Go’, a steady moving The Runaways-inspired big rocker that immediately motivates you to pump your fist in the air and bang your head. ‘(I’m Your) Victim’, the title track and ‘Yeah Right’ (a distinctly not politically correct song in this day and age: “Don’t drink too much. Yeah, right!”) ably back it up with a punk infused rock ’n’ roll attitude that perfectly sums up what it was like to be a fan of the rock and metal of the late 70s and early 80s.

‘Future Flash’ and ‘The Hunter’ have a more commercial sound to them, likely geared towards rock radio of the time. They have catchy verses and straightforward, big arena choruses and guitar solos. The closest thing we get to a ballad here is the mid tempo ‘Following The Crowd’. By no means an emotional ‘chick’ tune, the ladies do slow down just enough to show off their musical chops and silence any naysayers. The band also plays up both their musical prowess and their sexuality with a cover of ZZ Top’s ‘Tush’, that is completely out of this world! The guitars here are loose and played perfectly right down to the tone. Girlschool own this song to the point that you wouldn’t have known it was a cover if it hadn’t been such a massive hit.

‘Demolition Boys’ is a high energy bonus that accentuates the band’s punk ’n’ roll influence. It’s catchy and will keep your feet moving, obviously geared towards the big festival pogoing crowds. The band wraps it up by unleashing the title track with a Doro vocal, and it’s exactly what you’d expect. It’s down and dirty and Doro’s classic voice takes it to a whole new level.

Hit And Run: Revisited is a fun album. It hits hard and keeps you singing along throughout but, as many re-recordings are plagued with, it just doesn’t have that same spark those angry young babes had. Musically, it’s a lot more solid but that dangerous edge is replaced by a maturity that time inevitably brings with it. The songs are very much a product of their time, so if you don’t enjoy this style of music then there is no point in trying this one on for size. If you enjoy bands like Motörhead, The Runaways or early solo Joan Jett then you should check out Hit And Run (the original) and then Hit And Run: Revisited and come to your own conclusion.

Mark Fisher

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