Why is it that as I type up this weeks NWOBHM article I've got Motley Crue's "Kickstart My Heart" playing in my mind? Maybe it is the fact that we choose the kings of L.A. glam as our Top Of The Heap subjects? More than likely it is that while looking at Wrathchild I can't help but think Evesham,England is a long way from L.A. especially in regards to the early eighties heavy metal scene. While Wrathchild are part of the NWOBHM movement the fact is that they were more glam than anything else. To be fair though they formed in 1980 so they were ahead of the glam metal movement. Known for their D.I.Y. approach (common among NWOBHM groups of the time) the band's big hair and spandex attire were a far cry from the denim and leather that most English bands had going on. After a few demos and a 1983 EP called Stackheel Strutt the band released their debut 1984 album Stakk Attakk. The album (released on Heavy Metal Records)would spawn two hit singles: a cover version of the Gary Glitter classic "Doing Alright with the Boys" and "Trash Queen". RCA Records caught wind of the group and offered the group a chance to sign with a major. A label dispute though with Heavy Metal Records would cause all sorts of issues and it wouldn't be until 1988 that the band would be able to release The Biz Suxx. The band's 1989 studio album, Delirium would prove to be their last. Done in by a change in the musical landscape the band dissolved soon after Delirium was released. Now known more for the whole naming conflict with Wrathchild America (meaning Wrathchild are also now known as Wrathchild U.K.) the band have more of a fan base overseas than here in the States. NWOBHM wasn't confined to just your standard Iron Maiden type bands. There were bands like Wrathchild who were more glam and bands like Venom who were more thrash. You had a little of everything which is what made the movement so interesting.
Metal Mark says-
I am sure there are plenty of NWOBHM fans who might get riled up by Wratchild being included in the movement, but as Andy said there were a variety of sounds in the scene. As we all know there were a lot of influential bands and bands that were ahead of their time. Wrathchild formed a year before Motley Crue and had their albums out before a number of other major players of the hair metal/glam scene that would be so popular over on these shores later in the 1980's. Listen to some of the tracks on 1984's "Stakk Attakk" you will hear a sound similar to what Poison would be doing two year's later on their debut. Wrathchild were definitely influenced by 70's glam like Sweet and Gary Glitter, but at least initially they tried to add in some 1980's flair as well. I definitely these guys and I may be one of the few, but they were a fun band. I think there are three reasons they didn't get very far though. Number one is of course the label problems which kept the band from releasing an album for several years. Number two is just that this style of glam was never as big in the UK as it was in the states so they were likely in the wrong place to be doing this style. Number three is that even though I am a fan it's obvious they never tried to progress much at all. "Stakk Attakk" came out in 1984 and while it fit in fine that time. By 1989 when "Delirium" came out they were doing the exact sound and the hard rock scene had passed them by. A large part of that is likely due to their label troubles as well. The songs were simple and the mood light, but it's easy to get into. Fans of Maiden, Diamond Head and more "traditional" NWOBHM bands may turn up their noses at this spiked-haired, make-up wearing band. However they were part of the scene and their albums are worth giving a listen to.