Bitch – “Be My Slave / Damnation Alley”

“Be My Slave / Damnation Alley”
CD/DVD (Metal Blade)

Infamous on 80s Sunset Strip for their outrageous S&M shows that eventually got them targeted by Tipper Gore’s equally infamous PMRC (Parents Music Resource Centre) resulting in their ensuing “Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics” stickers, it’s easy to discount Bitch (and many did). Despite all this, Bitch were the first female fronted metal band to get signed to a label, “Damnation Alley” being Metal Blade’s first non compilation release and more importantly, the band played alongside the likes of WASP, Armoured Saint and even had Slayer and Metallica open for them! Now, almost 30 years later and Betsy Weiss (aka Betsy Bitch) is still going and it seems fitting that these long forgotten albums are given a dust off and spruce up by original engineer and producer Bill Metoyer, a legend in his own right! With an almost nihilistic punk sound, even the remaster does nothing to tart up Betsy’s raw amped vocals, the distorted guitar of David Carruth or the pummeling rhythm on the 16 tracks like ‘Heavy Metal Breakdown’ or the sleeze n roll ‘Leather Bound’ or the freight train chugging ‘World War III’. Don’t be expecting any finesse here, angry tracks like ‘Saturday’ were reflective of a lifestyle that defined the underground sound of early 80s LA, in turn inspiring (one way or the other) teenagers like Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield. Trivia fans will note that a long lost track that even the band had forgotten in the form of air punching ‘Let’s Go’ is also included having been discovered by Metoyer whilst rummaging thru the tapes! Of course, the bonus DVD (supervised by co founder David Carruth) is the coup de grace comprising of 10 live tracks like ‘Skullcrusher’ from the band’s extensive library of videotaped shows as well as 2 music videos. All in all, a mother of a package and with Betsy still strutting the strip, one way or the other, the bitch is back.

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