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Girlschool – Screaming Blue Murder (Reissue)

Screaming Blue Murder (Reissue)
by Jess at 18 March 2017, 9:14 PM

We are throwing this one back. I have the honor to review the all female metal powerhouse GIRLSCHOOL. Next year they will be celebrating 40 years on the new wave of British Heavy Metal scene. “Screaming Blue Murder” was originally released in 1982 as a 12” vinyl and is their third full-length release. This album comes in with eleven tracks and about 34 minutes of listening time.

The opening and title track comes in with screaming guitars. The bass is chunky and glorious. They are given the type of love a bassists dreams of. The drums are delightful and pack a punch. The vocals are female (obviously); they have a harsh tone and are the epitome of the Heavy Metal female vocal of the 80’s. There are two instrumental interludes, one at about two minutes in and the other at the end, and both shred. These ladies can hang with the best of the best in the genre.

Take It From Me”, track three, comes in a little lower than the first two tracks but quickly escalates into pure energy. There are some definite Glam elements to this track. The guitars are incredible and again the bass keeps everything together with its beefy sound. The drums accentuate the rhythm and the vocals are fierce. This track is nicely balanced and has a little something for everyone.

Holy bass love. Track four “Wildlife” seems to be built around the opening of the bass. While the bass is strong throughout, the opening bit is where this entire track was born, or so it seems. There is some fantastic guitar work at about mid-track with some interesting slide performance. The art in this one is extra noticeable, but it’s a very short track. I was sad it ended so quickly, but the musicianship is great.

Don’t Call It Love”, track six, has my favorite opener in the track. It also has a little more melody to the vocals. The vocals are really very good in this track. They aren’t quite as harsh, but still keep their integrity. The guitars are simply amazing. They aren’t particularly unique, but they are performed and written to fit the track perfectly. The drums keep the rhythm energetic, along side the guitars. The bass seems to fall off the track a little here except towards the end.

Track seven, “Hellrazor”, is super speed and the vocals are completely different and that gives it a nice contrast to what we’ve heard so far. It is also another bass lovers track. I adore how much bass these tracks have been allowed to showcase. While, the bass is an integral part of the band, sometimes people forget just how great they can be and this track helps us understand that. Another short track, but another one that shows a different level the musicianship.

You Got Me”, track nine, has a little bit of a production issue. It sounds distorted, and not in the good Metal way. The vocals are really impacted, the rest is OK, but still the vocals are enough to throw it off balance. There is portion of the track that literally volumes down at about 1:49 and comes back about ten seconds later.  This quality change is really strange and I’m wondering if it has something to do with the reissuing from vinyl to digital.

The final track, “Don’t Stop” along with the tenth track, both still have a little bit of a quality issue, but it is better than what track nine had to offer. This one is a fun send off to the album. The end fades out instead of cutting you off leaving you with that high feeling after an album, not that feeling of “WTF just happened to my music?” The guitars are great and the vocals are particularly good. The bass is hefty and meaty and the drums keep the track rolling at its midlevel pace.

GIRLSCHOOL is a fun, girl power of a band. “Screaming Blue Murder” is fierce and fun and high energy; everything a Metal album should be. While there are some production issues, the music is really good and spirited. If you’re looking for kickass women creating kickass Metal, this is an album you need to check out.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Memorability: 8
Production: 5

3 Star Rating

1. Scream Blue Murder
2. Live With Me
3. Take If From Me
4. Wildlife
5. It Turns Your Head Around
6. Don’t Call It Love
7. Hellrazor
8. When Your Blood Runs Cold
9. You Got Me
10. Flesh and Blood
11. Don’t Stop 
Kim McAuliffe - Rhythm Guitar and Lead Vocal
Enid Williams - Bass Guitar and Lead Vocal
Jackie Chambers - Lead Guitar and Backing Vocals
Denise Dufort - Drums
Record Label: Dissonance Productions


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Edited 06 December 2022

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