MY TURN TO DEAL
Released on February 2, 2016 (Demon Doll Records / Atomic Stuff Promotion)
There are many really good female fronted hard rock or heavy metal bands these days from “veteran” bands or artists such as Doro, Joan Jett and Lita Ford to more recent bands such as Diemonds, Sister Sin (R.I.P. for hopefully not too long), Halestorm and Rebel Mistress. However, there are still not many all female hard rock or heavy metal bands that I can think of. The few that come to mind are The Runaways, Girlschool, Vixen, the new line-up of Femme Fatale, The Lolas, Doll Skin and now The Phoenix.
The ladies in The Phoenix show what good production coupled with catchy songs and melodic guitar riffs can result in with their debut EP My Turn To Deal. Although the songs might be a tad lighter than what I would usually gravitate to, it’s fair to say that the more I listen to the songs on The Phoenix‘s My Turn To Deal, the more and more I like them. What I also appreciate about The Phoenix‘s debut EP is that there are only four songs and they are all good ones. No filler stuff added to this debut album!
While at first I thought that the EP closer “You Can’t Stop The Rock ‘N’ Roll” and “Party Hard” were the weakest songs and the first single “My Turn To Deal” was the best one, my thought process has changed the more I listen to the EP. My favorite tracks are now the last two. “Party Hard” is the heaviest track and takes you on a bit of a journey tempo wise compared to the other tracks. “You Can’t Stop The Rock ‘N’ Roll” probably has the sweetest melody to start any of the songs, a cool guitar solo and a catchy chorus to boot. Funny enough, when I first saw the name of the track, I thought it was almost a sacrilege to use a similar title to Twisted Sister‘s classic and barn burner “You Can’t Stop Rock N Roll.” The other two tracks “My Turn To Deal” and “Dangerous Girl” are solid catchy tunes not far behind the other two. I love the guitar solo part on “My Turn To Deal” which would likely work quite well live.
Where The Phoenix might take some warming up to is Lena McFrison‘s singing. She does have a noticeable presumably Italian accent to her English. This accent is quite prevalent during the verses on the first single “My Turn To Deal” and reminds me of the singing from Swedish group Rebel Mistress‘ frontwoman Marielle Tengström. Since I have always enjoyed listening to hard rock / heavy metal bands with female singers and always have found a little Eastern European accent on a woman’s English to be quite sexy, McFrison‘s vocals are actually appealing to me but I could see how it might be a bit of a hurdle for others not as smitten as I am by slightly accented English.
Overall, The Phoenix deliver a strong debut EP with a good mix of ’80s influences and more modern production. I look forward to seeing what the ladies can come up with on a full-length album.
01. My Turn To Deal
02. Dangerous Girl
03. You Can’t Stop The Rock ‘N’ Roll
04. Party Hard
Lena McFrison – vocals, guitar
Alice Schecter – guitar, vocals
Luna Rocket Queen – bass, vocals
Giuli McMousse – drums
Alessandro Rubino – additional vocals
Roberto Priday – additional vocals
Sandra D’Onofrio – additional vocals
Marco Ubago Leardini – additional keyboards
Produced by The Phoenix
Recorded, mixed and mastered by Roberto Priday
Reviewed by Olivier for Sleaze Roxx, April 2016