Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Right off the band let's make sure to point out that this Hell's Belles (Or is it really Hells Belles? Doesn't seem right not adding that extra apostrophe mark, but I've seen it both ways so....) was around before the all-female AC/DC cover band. Not that either one is better then the other. To be fair though I've never heard the ladies covers so you know....Anyway,  what would you expect to get if you were to combine one-time Bronx vocalist Paul Quigley and some members of Discharge? If you were to say "Well, you'd get this awesome rock/heavy metal/punk band that just killed it!" I'd tell you to try again. Without getting too deep into the exact who, what and where that followed in the days that took place between the band's formation in 1983 and the release of their lone full-length LP, 1986's self-titled affair (Yes, that's the second picture there!) let's just concentrate on the end result. That's where I run into trouble. Try as I may I just can't get my head wrapped around today's NWOBHM act. I even thought about simply passing over this late comer to the scene. Too say the band's one album was a bit "uneven" is putting it mildly. Before getting too far off point though let's just say that they tried their hand at a sound known as "Rogue Metal". Whatever you want to call it though it was just too much of this and that as if the band either A) Didn't know what they were or what they wanted to sound like or B) They tried to appeal to everyone and their mother with all the different genres smashed together over the course of 10 tracks. Regardless, with guitarist Pooch (Who passed through Discharge), bassist Gareth Holder (A former member of punk band The Shapes) and former Brute Force drummer Anthony "Spiv" Smith joining him, all the pieces were set in place for Paul Quigley to release this "unique" album. The band even brought in Lyndsay Bridgwater (Ex-Ozzy Osbourne, Blizzard of Oz, Budgie) to add some flashy keyboard elements to the LP. Ultimately though the band only managed to achieve an album that is all over the place."Looks Like Love" is a serviceable opening number that promises good things only to leave you disappointed and confused. "Screaming for Mercy" and "Long Legs" are cuts you can get behind, but they are nothing to get worked up about. Despite a number like "Overload", which is a bit of a gem, rocking you hard and maybe "Storm Break Loose" (Solid heavy metal") giving you a bit of a head rush, there is a huge chunk of filler material. Sure, maybe it's a case of the LP being half good and half bad, but the bad numbers really stick out and man, do they ever drag! While the album might be worth downloading, as I don't think it ever made it past the vinyl stages, I'm not sure I could justify buying this NWOBHM platter. Even though the band is, as of 2008 or so, again active (With some of their newer music even appearing on iTunes), it seems as if the band is nothing more then a Paul Quigley solo/studio-only project.

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