Plasmatics: Metal Priestess 12"
In the early 1980s, if your goal was international media domination, being a punk rock band would only get you so far, so after toying with heavy metal accents on their first two albums, the Plasmatics finally dove headfirst into the genre of black leather and big guitar solos with the 1981 EP Metal Priestess. While these six tunes simply push the group's music into a direction where they were already headed (as evidenced by the fact two of these tracks are live reworkings of songs from Beyond the Valley of 1984), it's impressive how quickly the band picked up the ropes of arena-style metal bombast; from the galloping drums and neo-Van Halen guitar figures on "Black Leather Monster" and the spooky minor key atmospherics of "Lunacy" to the cheesy keyboard lines of "Doom Song," the Plasmatics take to this stuff like they had been waiting to open for Black Sabbath all their lives. While neither Richie Stotts or Wes Beech were especially imaginative guitarists, they certainly knew the rudiments of their chosen style well enough, and Wendy O. Williams' vocals were a striking improvement over her work on New Hope for the Wretched; here, her histrionics work in the music's favor, and somewhere down the line she learned how to carry a tune without sacrificing her lung power along the way. One drawback of the Plasmatics' new metal direction was that Metal Priestess seems even more cartoony than the band's first two albums, especially more than 25 years on, but if you're looking for some over-the-top headbanging stuff, this disc delivers with more skill than you might expect (and just as little subtlety).Tags: 80s female-fronted gb325 metal punk reissues yoobl