Picks and Pans Review: Hit and Run
If the Go-Go's pulled on black leather and stirred some eye of newt, cobra venom and nitroglycerine into their milk shakes, they might emerge sounding something like Girlschool. Like the Go-Go's, these four young Englishwomen didn't set out to be segregated, but as rhythm guitarist Kim McAuliffe has said, "At the beginning we couldn't find boys to play with us." They can now, and have opened, in fact, for Motorhead, Uriah Heep and Black Sabbath while lifting this debut album into the English Top 10. Girlschool bears all the earmarks of traditional heavy metal, from the thunka-thunka beat to the doomsday chords and the painfully whiny lead guitar solos. It is, as McAuliffe cheerfully admits, "a nice energetic racket," but one executed with more than the usual skill and spirit. In a bright voice reminiscent of early Debbie Harry, Kelly Johnson addresses youthful concerns like jobs, love and parents with optimism and even humor. In Yeah Right, she shrews up her voice like a crone and yells, "Don't stay out too late again tonight." To which the band dully replies, "Yeah right." For all their malevolent mettle, Girlschool gets an A for attitude.