Vixen vocalist Janet Gardner strays from the sound that brought her global fame with a new solo album that throws fists into several eras and genres from the ‘70s to the ‘90s and grunge to industrial while keeping her hard rock, big hair, stilettoed roots.
Alongside husband Justin James, Gardner weaves magical webs like a black widow waiting to bite. With raw sounds reminiscent of Drain STH, Lita Ford and Crucified Barbara, Gardner goes heavier, louder and in some cases sounds pissed off adding vocal hisses and sneers alongside lightning bolt riffs. There are touches of synth and piano, but it’s a far cry from the glam sounds of their MTV heyday, going beyond the hairspray to make ten kick ass tunes.
A witchy, raspy, hair-whipped vocal assault starts with the opening guitar smack of Rat Hole. Like a well-placed nut shot, it’s a mission statement to the ears saying this is new, this is different, this is me.
Hippycrite rains down with guitars biting and ripping through riffs. If You Want Me slithers and swaggers with mean danceable groove, with seduction, with crystal ball keys.
Candle casts the love shadow over relationships, carrying drama like a ‘80s concept video. Your Problem Now bends and contracts like a snake wrapping around the words, squeezing the life out with punk vibe and attitude.
Let It Be Over sings a serious message soaring with heavy notes and gospel fever spreading angelic wings. Lost has an industrial blend, shadowing ‘70s rock with alternative flavors.
The Grind’s rustic sound and screams give nod to grunge and the electro-industrial scene while candle light and phones glow for the acoustic somber ballad Best Friend.
The Good or the Bye says farewell with a hard luck bluesy bitch-slap with a ‘80s reflection in the rear view.