Girls can rock too. Symphonic prog, alt rock and no Taylor Swift (thankfully), Chen Mian Kuang cites three examples of this rare breed of musician.
WITHIN TEMPTATION – “MOTHER EARTH”
Huge in Europe, this Dutch symphonic prog metal band is fronted by Sharon den Adel, a classically trained vocalist who has swapped the opera house for the moshpit. Although they hit the big time with their third album “The Silent Force”, I find “Mother Earth” their second album to be the best in their career so far. We have elements of goth opera and sweeping symphonic grandeur accompanied by metal guitars. But the highlight must surely be Ms den Adel’s voice, which can be powerful as in “Ice Queen” and “Caged”, or pure and exquisite as in “Never-ending Story” and “In Perfect Harmony”. The songs are also irresistibly melodic. Try this, you have probably not heard anything like it before!
THE KILLS – “MIDNIGHT BOOM”
This two piece band, comprising of American Alison Mosshart and Briton Jamie Hince, is a drugged out, more edgy version of the White Stripes. But there is less domination by screeching guitars, and more groovy rolling rhythms created by the judicious application of synths, guitar and bass. Cherry crowning the confection is Ms Mosshart’s sexy bad grrl alcohol infused vocals. Their lyrics are a shopping list of Generation Z narcissism, like this verse from “Cheap and Cheerful” – “I’m bored of cheap and cheerful; I want expensive sadness; Hospital bills, paroles; Open doors to madness”. Ms Mosshart also moonlights as lead singer of The Dead Weather, which includes Jack White of the White Stripes, and their two albums so far (Horehound and Sea of Cowards) are also worth checking out.
PEARL – “LITTLE IMMACULATE WHITE FOX”
Boasting an impeccable musical pedigree – daughter of Meatloaf and wife of Anthrax’s Scott Ian – Pearl Aday’s debut album is rock and roll hearkening back to the 80’s, sans the spandex and permed hairdos. Pearl has a coarse voice with an impressive range (like her father’s), both of which make it perfect for the songs here. The best track is “Broken White”, which has her voice complemented by an irresistible head banging guitar riff courtesy of hubby. Although toned down from what he does for Anthrax, Scott Ian’s axe wielding pyrotechnics are still impressive and suitable for the occasion. This is recommended listening for those who like their music raw.