Following up their excellent ‘L.O.V.E.’ album, the Bitch Queens continue their upward ascent with new album ‘City of Class.’ They continue their natural development as one of the best hard rock bands around today by incorporating various influences and packing each song with hooks and excellent music. This album needs to go on your list to purchase ASAP.
Kicking off with the title track, the band take about 40 seconds with everything bubbling under the surface on the first verse before fully unleashing itself on the listener. If you are familiar with the Bitch Queens, there are not a ton of surprises here which is okay in my book. The band continue to evolve within their sound which at times is like ‘Total 13’ era Backyard Babies. ‘Vote for Pedro’ continues the full on assault with a direct hook hitting the brain hard, and the song flying by in less than 2 minutes. Samples lead us into ‘Superboy’ with the vocal and electric guitar carried first verse leading into a commercial chorus that leads into some awesome guitar work before the next verse. The band have laced this one with several subtle changes and passages that really reward repeat listening. It’s the kind of song that makes an excellent single down the road.
‘Especially Danny’ clocks in at just over 2 minutes, with the band trimming all the fat off these songs. The chorus is contagious with an added bonus of some cool guitar cutting right into the chorus. Again, the band are not offering up huge surprises. These are rock n roll songs revved up for speed and packed with hooks. ‘Sucker for the Blues’ carries forward at twice the speed most of the bands likely would have made it with some musical similarities to acts like Rocket from the Crypt, but the vocals are pure Bitch Queens. Backing vocals throughout ‘Negative Heaven’ give the album more variety, and the bridge is one of my favorite moments on the album. I would love to see them on tour with the likes of the Wildhearts as I think their audience would also welcome these songs. ‘When Did I Die’ starts with a dirty riff before exploding to life. The chorus is straight forward and simple with the song feeling like a surge of adrenaline.
‘On and On’ follows feeling slightly subdued at the beginning leading into another catchy chorus. I mentioned ‘Total 13’ by the Backyard Babies earlier, but this song feels a bit more like a ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ song. It is not as abrasive musically and sets up a nice vocal break near the end of the song. The band lay down a great beat for ‘All My Money’ with its fast tempo ensuring it will be a fist in the air bang your head favorite live. As we get near the end, feedback gives way to ‘Never Say Never’ where the band lay on another great addictive chorus. One of my favorite elements of the Bitch Queens is they give you hard rocking songs that are designed for audience participation. It is easy to imagine the crowd’s energy as they move and sing to these songs. ‘Paso’ ends the album with a minute blast that is over way too soon. That really applies for this album as a whole. You can listen to the album on your half hour lunch break or on your way somewhere and start it all over again on your next break.
If you have never dipped your toes into the musical brilliance of the Bitch Queens, this serves as a good starting point as you will find yourself quickly singing along and fighting the urge to hit the repeat button 11 times. Let it play all the way through and then treat yourself all over again. If you are a long time fan, the band continue to slowly refine their sound with a crystal clear production that sounds awesome. I would enjoy hearing a dirtier live album in the future, but the studio versions are produced and mixed extremely well. They may sing about a ‘City of Class,’ but this is clearly a first class album.
Buy City Of Class Here
Author: Gerald Stansbury