As surely as the sun rises and sets each day, trends and fads seem to come and go in the music industry and while it may be all well and good championing the next burgeoning scene, sometimes it’s better to just think in simpler terms. After all, there’s nothing wrong with some good old balls-out, no fucking about, heavy fuckin’ metal and as luck would have it, that’s exactly what Belfasts very own Rabid Bitch Of The North deal in!
Despite being on the go for ten years and having released a number of E.P’s and singles, Nothing But A Bitter Taste is the groups debut album. It’s easy to see that the band have taken their time with these songs because, while they may not be most original sounding set of tunes going, they are lovingly crafted paeans to the glory days of the NWOBHM; bristling with a fuck you attitude and excitement that is missing from many acts that attempt to travel this same road.
From opener “The Missionary” – which gets no higher praise than this writer witnessing a toddler stamp about and twirl around the kitchen floor when first hearing it – to the closing “Trapped In 99”, there is nary a duff moment to be found. Vocalist/Bassist Joe McDonnell has a raspy voice that suits the music well, while his chunky bass lines under-score the guitar heroics of Gerry Mullholland, who has also produced the album. Speaking of production, Gerry Mulholland has given the album a raw hewn sound that could easily have graced some early Motörhead or Saxon albums.
To be brutally honest, Rabid Bitch Of The North are not going to be everyone’s cup of tea – which is their loss – and they’re never going to change the world. What they can give you though is thirty five minutes of aural delight. Stick this on in the comfort of your own home – or wherever you may be, being comfortable isn’t even a prerequisite – and the throwing of horns and snapping of neck muscles is sure to shortly follow; the subtle use of air guitar is optional but recommended. Great stuff. 8/10