|Lita Ford - ‘The Bitch Is Back...Live’ (SPV / Steamhammer)|
|Written by Sophie Brownlee|
|Friday, 18 October 2013 03:00|
‘The Bitch Is Back…..Live’ heralds the return of rock queen Lita Ford. Recorded live in October 2012, California, Ford rips through some new material as well as some staple classics. So with over 30 years of punk, rock and metal experience under her belt, what does one expect from one who’s showed it all?
Opener ‘The Bitch Is Back’, an Elton John cover, certainly carries her attitude but, like following track ‘Hungry’, Ford’s voice sounds weak and a little fractured at times, which is unusual to say the least. The band’s competence cannot be ignored though, especially in the tight performance of new track ‘Relentless’, Ford’s vocal confidence cuts through here though, her stylish, growling delivery never sounding better, even if the backing vocals don’t quite match her attitude.
‘Living Like a Runaway’ gets a cheer for The Runaways reference; as guitar oozes over the bass line and Ford’s voice properly gets underway – this is a classic song of hope with uplifting hooks – although if you ask me the chorus is a little weak. The acapella opening of ‘Devil In My Head’ highlights how well Ford has looked after her voice over the years (see I knew she still had it) but I can’t help but feel that by this track the music is sounding a little stale, so much so that ‘Back To The Cave’ feels a little like a continuation of the previous track.
The album moves through ‘Can’t Catch Me’ and ‘Out For Blood’ – two punchy, driving tracks that give this album the energy and wildness it needs. Mitch Perry’s guitar work behind the vocals in the latter track is especially complimentary. ‘Dancing On The Edge’ and ‘Hate’ meanwhile are weaker tracks, both in writing and performance but ‘Close My Eyes Forever’ captures the darker, more memorable side of Lita. Ford is arguably at her best here in terms of emotional delivery though the on-stage delay effect detracts slightly and when the band fills the sound out, the song becomes slightly less impressive.
Closing with the well-known ‘Kiss Me Deadly’, we hear Ford delivering what the crowd really wants to hear and while there’s a few flat notes floating in there, the overall performance is strong and with edge.
‘The Bitch Is Back…..Live’ is not the tightest or strongest live album out there, but the mix of old and new makes it an interesting listen and let’s face it Lita Ford never was one to disappoint.