Dedication. To. The. Cause. Which cause? I am a little shocked you have to ask, but it is rock and roll. In 2015 it is sort of a revolutionary act to piss on irony, and simply plug in and rock it out.
Ladyhood is an Australian band that has this dedication. I don’t know a ton about them, but I know that songwriter/frontwoman, Brihony Dawson, is one hell of a rock and roll singer. You may, ahem (hint), want to keep your eyes on NewsWhistle. You never know when an interview might pop up.
The press materials that came with my downloads of Ladyhood’s recently released e.p., Finger on the Pulse, make comparisons to the Donnas, Joan Jett, Aerosmith, and Heart, and why not? It all makes sense the moment you press “play.”
It’s more than that, though, and this can be dangerous territory… I grew up in the 80s, and though I exerted myself at nearly every turn to ignore the glam/hair metal, the power-ballads, the neon rainbow of shiny, spandexed… You get my point, right? Well, I’m older now (do the math, suckers), and I am sort of ok with feeling nostalgia’s pull of Warrant’s “Heaven.”
Sorry not sorry.
Finger on the Pulse starts off with the bluesy slow chug of “Naked,” and the absolutely stunning opening line of, “you look at me like my clothes are already on the floor.” It is about the obvious, but almost nearly as apparent is the nod to emotional nakedness.
The video is a bit naughty…
“Bad Girl” roars into your life like a long-lost friend getting out prison. Brihony (Miss Dawson, if you’re nasty) feels totally sincere and at-ease as she talks about how dangerous she is, and you believe every word, guitar lick, and drum hit. She name checks The Runaways (natch), and, boom, this is your new favorite song.
“Watch out, you’re playing with fire. Step back because it’s taking me higher. I’m gonna set this place ablaze. You’ll go down in flames,”: so says the chorus of “Playing with Fire.” Ladyhood kills it while Brihony spits out lines about “knocking down the haters.” See previous song. She is a bad girl, but for the right reasons. Maybe this is your new favorite song?
Ladyhood pumps the brakes a bit for “Stand and Deliver,” an emotional statement of mission. It is a classically assembled p-p-powerballad. We talked about this earlier. This is certainly isn’t a criticism. It’s a reality for Ladyhood. You could no more remove this aspect than you could the Runaways or the Donnas, and why the hell would you want to?!
“I’m gonna stand and deliver. There’s no more holding back.”
Ladyhood again embraces balladry on the last track, “Do It All Again.” It even opens with “Here I Go Again” keyboards! They both have “again” in their titles. Interesting.
So ends your (and my) first taste of Ladyhood… Get your head out of the gutter! This is a rock band, and a frontwoman who hits all the right notes of aggression, sexuality, vulnerability, tenacity, and reverence. You might say that Ladyhood hits you with its best shot…
… Fire away.
Images Courtesy of Ladyhood