There must be something about the water in Finland. Between that country and its’ neighbor Sweden, they have had a renaissance of 80’s hard rock/glam. Even weirder is that a lot of it is rather good. So the newest addition to the Sunset Strip Wayback Party is Barbe-Q Barbies. They are an all-female quintet that is more Sass Jordan than Vixen. Just like their Finnish contemporaries, they seem to be very image conscience. Glancing at the album cover, lots of bare midriffs and lets just say they are all lookers. While that may be appealing in one way, it can make one very wary. We hard rock/metal fans have been deluged as of late with scantily clad female musicians that seem more interested in posing than playing. I guess I was spoiled growing up with Doro, Lita Ford, Girlschool, and Bitch. While they may have done an occasional provocative pose or two but you always knew they meant business. Nowadays, you have Huntress where there are more pics of her boobs hanging out than there are of them covered. The singer from In This Moment is good but it seems like she is Katy Perry half the time. Don’t get me started with Butcher Babies, two girls who perform topless to distract from their shitty music. The fact they are doing it is one thing but the fact that Revolver and Liquid Metal gives them any attention is another.
All that is a shame because it’s making it harder for Barbe-Q Barbies and others that are trying to be taken seriously.
Back story aside, how is Breaking All The Rules? Incredibly cliche titles aside, the band is good. The singer has a nice voice with some grit to it. Best comparison is to imagine if Gwen Stefani grew up 10 years earlier and listened to L.A. glam instead of ska. The rest of the band is capable but lacking. While the songs may be simple they are kind of catchy but there is something missing. It may be the producers fault because every song has the same tone. It really does a disservice because there is several real good songs. First single “STFU” is a great rocker with a little dance in it.
“One More (And I’ll Be Gone)” perfectly conveys the lyrical theme of drinking the break-up away. True to form there is a ballad, the maudlin titled “Gun In My Hand”. Here the singer cranks up a extra layer of grit and adds some nice emotion as well. The one glaring problem is she repeats the title almost 10 times per verse. Again, I think a better producer would have corrected this.
I think what Barbe-Q Barbies show on Breaking All The Rules is that there is a lot of potential here. The band seems to be in this for the music and if you look at their Facebook page they seem to tour regularly. Hopefully they’ll keep working hard and their label will get them a proper producer.
Final rating, I’d be happy paying…
$14.99-Regularly Priced CD
$9.99-Download from iTunes or Amazon
$5.00-wait for Amazon to have it on sale
$1.00-finding at a flea market, car wash, or pawn shop
$0-Not worth the drive space