With Classic Rock championing their cause, and Lzzy Hale tweeting her support, Cardiff-based rockers Beth Blade and The Beautiful Disasters are on a bit of a roll. The album garnering all the praise is debut, ‘Bad Habit’. Ten tracks of no-nonsense hard rock, with a huge slice of attitude thrown in.
Opener, ‘Hell Yeah’, features a healthy smattering of crunching guitar riffs and a shout-out-loud chorus, which, like any good chorus, is ready made for audience participation. Beth Blade has a huge, booming voice that is perfect for making herself heard over the crowd, and harnesses the snotty ‘fuck you’ attitude of The Runaways, and in particular Joan Jett. Craig Manning provides the impressive guitar licks, while Blade backs him up, laying down crucial rhythm guitar. The solos sprout wings and really let fly towards the end. The lyrics are quite basic, “bottle of jack… cadillac” but let’s face it, AC/DC have proved that the best rock songs don’t need to have any deep meaning. So, after taking the stick out of my ass, I went with the flow and got onboard. Swapping ‘Hell Yeah’ with the title track that immediately follows it might have made sense. ‘Bad Habit’ is a belter, and would have been the perfect album opener. Fast, machine gun vocals from Blade during the intro, instantly memorable hooks, and the all-important whoa whoa’s. The influence of Ms Hyde herself, Lzzy Hale, is evident throughout, just as it is on the show-stopping ‘Poster Girl For Pain’. A not so distant cousin to ‘Familiar Taste Of Poison’ from Halestorm’s debut album, it’s a slow burning gem with a hint of menace in the lyrics. Isolate the vocals, and you’ll hear an Alice In Chains groove from the engine room of Sam Brain on drums and Nicko Goodwin on bass. Beth Blade’s vocals are softer with a touch of heartbreak about them. Someone has hurt her, and she’s making it known. The song leads into ‘This Bitch Bites’, which perhaps is her response to the villain of the piece in the previous track. Another highlight on the album.
‘Hell In High Heels’ has a fantastic old school classic rock vibe throughout. Thin Lizzy-esque guitars perfectly highlight just how influential Lizzy still are. ‘If You’re Ready To Rock’ is Blade’s tip of the hat to Kiss. It’s simplistic, it’s a party anthem complete with handclaps, it does what it says on the tin. ‘Angel With A Dirty Face’ is a massive power ballad, which, along with ‘Poster Girl For Pain’, ‘Bad Habit’ and ‘Beautiful Disease’ shows great lyrical promise for Beth Blade’s future. ‘Legends Never Die’ is an unashamed celebration of everything rock n’ roll, Blade telling the tale of how she discovered this thing called rock. It’s infectious and from the heart. How can you not raise the horns to lyrics like “Marshall stack turned up to 11”? Pay attention, and you’ll hear name checks to Queen, Kiss, Motörhead, and Van Halen, to name just a few. A fitting way to end the album. ‘Bad Habit’ has a few rough edges, which can only be expected on a debut album. Given time, and what can be learned through experience, the future is looking rosy for Beth Blade and The Beautiful Disasters.
‘Bad Habit’ is available now. For more information on the release and live dates, head over to their official facebook page.
Review: Dave Stott
Photo: Jo Gosling