Diamond Star Records, 2001
REVIEW BY: Chris Harlow
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 12/01/2003
With an album titled Lady Luck, a casual music fan might think of Broadzilla as nothing more than a crack music act that is just happy to have laid some tracks to wax. But, considering the fact that this trio has won the Best Hard Rock Band award from the Detroit Music Awards the past three years, it would be wise to dispel that notion. It might be more prudent to believe that the title Lady Luck actually defines words of modesty.
With obvious influences ranging from the big rock sounds of bands like KISS and Ted Nugent, Broadzilla have recently embarked on an international audience with a September, 2003 re-release of the same album in the U.K. Demand must be high as the girls have been on two separate tours of the United Kingdom having generated an initial buzz worthy of a repeated invitation.
Vocalist and guitarist Rachel May, aka Rachelzilla, has a voice that screams an angry likeness to a young Pat Benatar. It's an impassioned voice that is very suited to complement her aggressive lead guitar work which, paired with bassist Kimzilla (Kim Essiambre), has the ability to come across with a fury resembling the Fast Eddie Clarke and Lemmy Kilmister tandem during their Motorhead days. "Burn Baby Burn!" is the track that showcases this claim the best.
No offense to Lemmy and the boys, but some of Broadzilla's best work on Lady Luck is reflected on the tracks where the structures of the songs aren't so in-your-face. The title track has such an obvious Benatar sound laid over riffs that KISS would be proud to own. (Sorry, Mr. Simmons. I use the ownership claim figuratively!) It's this repeated formula that makes this album so refreshing. Unpretentious rock n' roll filled with big hooks hasn't sounded this good for a long time.
In addition, the lyrical compositions of the songs are pretty captivating. I've now learned that a liquor snatch is a "drunken fool" who is still "hung over from the night before." Somehow, I'm sure the inspiration for such words in the song "Liquor Snatch" were found on a dusky night driving through the rough and tumble stretches of Detroit's Michigan Avenue.
With an opening verse of "You're the kind of guy that white trash girls adore, but your mullet's been out since 1984," the song "Y Did You Have 2B Psycho" avoids the many of the tired lines that hard rock songs tend to gravitate towards. Actually, this song is a pretty vicious and succinct dart thrown at the male groupie action Rachelzilla professes to be exposed to in every town Broadzilla plays. The rock and roll cliché that this song avoids would easily be something along the lines of don't mess with the bull, you're gonna get the horns. Kudos for Broadzilla's lyrical departure in this area.
I am also noting that guitarists Christine Sixteen and Mary Currie of the rock band Mensen seemingly lift the opening guitar riff of Broadzilla's "Four:Twenty" track when they performed their song "Keep Up" on their recently released Oslo City album. I'm sure it's coincidence but it's that riff that I praised as being the catalyst for launching such a good effort back on 9/16/2003. The fuzzed-out riff does the same justice for "Four:Twenty" as it does for Mensen's song.
Another song not to be overlooked is Broadzilla's cover of fellow homegirls, the Supremes, when "Love Child" is performed. In fact, Broadzilla's version is so hard-rock sounding that I at first missed the correlation to the original. In my book, that's the sign of a cover song worth performing.
So, how can you dispute an album that was recorded in the midst of a band winning three successive Detroit Hard Rock Band of the Year awards? With the city of Detroit and hard rock being synonymous with one another, I surely can't. Lady Luck is a gem worth its weight in gold.