This is the debut album from Cardiff rockers Beth Blade & The Beautiful Disasters, a result of a lot of groundwork and a successful pledge campaign, which appears to be a common occurrence in today’s music scene with the lack of label funding going around. This is straight up rock n roll, the PR material suggests this is for fans of Halestorm, Heart and Joan Jett, as I only know the latter I can only imagine Halestorm. However, for me there’s a good Lita Ford influence, especially in the vocal style. It’s this vocal style that keeps you gripped really. Not so much on the harder rocking tunes, but the softer ballads, of which there are two that spring out. The first ‘Poster Girl for Pain’ has a hell of a lot of emotion, the story is portrayed perfectly. Some of the phrasing reminds me of other great female singers like Amy Lee (Evanescence) and Laura Donnelly (Firebrand Superock/King Witch). The range, the power, it grips you, it involves you in the story and Ms Blade really makes this sound like a personal account. The second ‘Angel with a Dirty Face’ is a more typical rock ballad, again the emotion is great, I’d get your lighter or mobile phone ready for this one!

‘Hell Yeah’ is a cliché filled rocking anthem, pretty cool, pretty damn fine for a live gig and ‘Down and Dirty’ talks about someone’s perfect woman I reckon! Again, a strong rocking tune. The songs are quite simple, but the delivery is very good, strong, effortless, simply an enjoyable ride. A perfect live track is ‘If You’re Ready to Rock’, this even has space for a few seconds for the crowd to clap along, I like tunes like this, they get you involved and no doubt will work as well as I imagine live.

All in all, although not a release usually associated here, this is a damn fine album, filled with rocking tunes and very emotive softer tracks. The band sound older than their years, it works well. A solid effort and a band worth checking out if this is your style of music.

(8/10 Paul Maddison)