Suzi Quatro – “No Control” (Steamhammer / SPV)
Battle Helm Rating
‘… when I saw Elvis for the first time when I was 5, I decided I wanted to be him, and it didn’t occur to me that he was a guy…’. Widely acknowledged as being the first female bass player to become a major rock star, selling over 50 million albums worldwide, the legendary Suzi Quatro is also recognised for being a (if not the) female rock pioneer, ‘.. kicking down the male door in rock and roll and proving that a female musician could play as well if not better than the boys..’. Still actively touring at the age of 68 (!), this Detroit fire cracker still has all the sass, attitude and determination that voted her into the Michigan Rock and Roll Legends online Hall of Fame in 2010. “No Control” is this leather tuscadero’s 16th album, co written with her son Richard Tuckey (from her first marriage to her long time guitarist Len in 1976) who also plays guitar, and pretty much sticks to what made her famous in the 70s, mixing glam, hard and pop rock n roll – all naturally with a hefty Quatro mule kick! Opening with ‘No Soul/No Control’, the heavy drums are offset by Quatro’s sultry tones until they too explode along with an bursting organ and backed by almost punk shout outs on this charged rocker that clearly proves why this mama still rocks out onstage. ‘Macho Man’ is a slower but heavier rocker with deeper vocals and devilishly teasing lyrics along with slide and wah guitar going right back to the days of 70s hard and southern boogie, and definitely directed at any man still doubting Quatro’s ability to shake it with any dude rocker. Then there’s ‘Heavy Duty’ which brings back the pop rock with a clappy cha-cha beat, backed by saxophones and plenty of harmonies all to an authentic rock n roll sound that makes we wonder who is even doing this style still so authentically?! Going right back to the 60s on ‘I Can Teach You To Fly’ which has a Beatles groove, but with powerful horns prominent in the mix rather than the expected psych, the keys take more of a back seat, along with some very slick guitar from Richard (who’s clearly learned a thing or two from dad), and the laughter at the end sounds like Quatro is still very much about breaking all the house rules. Indeed, “No Control” is true to its title of being its own animal.