Pick Your Rock and Metal

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Blasting from the past comes one Ms Ford

ON Monday (18th June) Lita Ford came blasting back from her past with a snarling defiant single finger to the doubters, to the people who may have hurt her, and to the ones who have dismissed this once Runaway.

For younger readers Lita Ford was amongst the first real all-female rock group, The Runaways, with a punk snarl, overt sexuality and a penchant for being ripped by management: hell they even made a movie of their journey from top to bottom.

While her partners in Runaways crime went on to different careers, including one Ms Joan Jett, Lita Ford took what she learned and paved her own metal furrow with tunes like Kiss Me Deadly and a duet with Ozzy ("If I Close My Eyes Forever").

After a spell in semi reclusion, Lita Ford is back; punk sensibilities and rock tonality all mixed in with her sense of what makes a good tune, what riff mixes best, and most of all a defiance that swats away any doubts that this once teenage sex symbol can still cut it.

Then new release, Like a Runaway, is full to the brim of tracks that stay embedded in the soul, like Asylum, Relentless and Love 2 Hate U.

But while this is a statement of intent, an album where Ford allows full expression to inner and outer demons, her personal issues are dealt with sensitivity and with clarity, especially on the title track and Mother.

Her determination not to become a footnote in rock history is laid out on Relentless - and with lyricist Michael Dan Ehmig, she has captured about herself and the intent of recording this collection.

"There have been days in my life when I ran away, when I was unhappy and had to get out of my previous life," Lita confesses. "It's like walking through fire and being able to come through the other side unscathed.

She continues: "I wanted to write an album which gives people couragle, inspires them and gives them new power, in other words the power of music."

The power of music and fans was emphasised when Rob Flynn of Machine Head introduced Darkness Within recently in Belfast, and although coming from different points of view, it's that power that can heal and raise hope.

"...I want this music to help people to get through tough times, while remembering their happy times as well," said Lita. "It's happened to me plenty of times: fans come up to me and tell me how my songs have helped them in difficult situations, in a way its almost like a soundtrack to their lives"

This is a life-affirming album, with perhaps the only downer being the Nikki Sixx penned track, A Song to Slit Your Wrist By; which has at its heart a great tune, but is the only track which lacks the space to let the passion flow easily.

There are some who would write off the likes of Ms Ford as older rockers for older rockers, which misses the point. Good hard rock keeps on giving and Ms Ford has gave us a platter of par excellence hard rock and roll, with a metal twist and a punk punch.

Living Like a Runaway is now out in SPV/Steamhammer.

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