Lita Ford – “Time Capsule” (Steamhammer / SPV)
It’s been a while since we heard from this red hot momma of rock but the release of “Time Capsule” tells you why this lady is one of the top female rockers of all time! With a harrowing divorce taking priority over her music in recent years, “Time Capsule” is just the break she needed to keep her fans not just happy but hungry for more. While it’s certainly not a new album as in recently recorded, it’s definitely a new album made up of unreleased tracks that were effectively lost until Lita discovered their 24-track analog tapes in a closet in her Caribbean house. Immediately grabbing two suitcases, she lugged them back to LA and ‘baked’ them cos of their age – and they worked! What you now hear are the recordings made in various local studios post 1988’s platinum selling “Lita” album. Mind you, what makes these special is that they weren’t compositions as such, but impromptu jamming sessions with other musicians also using the same studios at the time – ‘musician’s I hear you ask but here’s who we’re talkin’ about: Billy Sheehan playing bass; Dave Navarro playing a mandolin(!), Jeff Scott Soto; Bruce Kulick guesting on guitars, Rick Nielsen and Robin Zander of Cheap Trick singing backing vocals; and KISS’ Gene Simmons ripping the bass. Oh yes, and there’s a hilarious ‘intro’ by WASPs Chris Holmes moaning about losing the keys to his car! Done in real time, presumably with (lots of) drinks in hand, “Time Capsule” really takes me back to the golden years in 80s rock from the tender opener of ‘Where Will I Find My Heart Tonight‘ to the street swank of ‘Black Leather Heart‘ with its cheeky wah leading up to its punchy shout it out chorus. ‘Rotten To The Core’, co penned with Gene Simmons, is probably the album’s heaviest track, with its pumping groove propelled by Simmons‘s rumbling bass and thumping drum work by Rodger Carter (Eddie Money, Rick Springfield etc), who features on all the tracks. With ex Odin bassist Jimmy Tavis joining Lita and Carter for two awesome instrumentals, the unfettered and fertile talent that true musicianship is all about is amply demonstrated on the very classy blues inherent in ‘Little Wind’, while ‘On The Fast Track’ does exactly what it says, with Lita’s guitar really showing her virtuoso skills on some longer than usual soloing – excellent! Fast rockers, hard rockers, street rockers, ballads, the blues – “Time Capsule” has it all and even more on the sassy rhyming rap rock closer of ‘Anything For The Thrill’ with its reflection on 80s decadence all over lyrics like ‘..momma’s little girl is a cocaine queen…’ – guess that was one that even Axl & the boys missed! All I can say is, if she’s got more of this shit then I’m definitely up for it!!!