Share DIRT IN THE SKIRT - BugGIRL (Impedance)
The follow-up to the five track EP "Blood Sweat and Beers" and "Dirt In The Skirt" is a 10-track release with more of the fast 'n' nasty high-energy-rock-meets-metal stuff but mixed with the unexpected elements of glam and funk. It's also a release that will cause some to re-assess their perceptions, winning new fans without losing old ones.

"Blood Sweat and Beers'" had well-credentialed production courtesy of Mark Opitz. The good news is BugGIRL are again fortunate to someone up to the job on board in Sylvia Massy (The Casanovas, Tool). With her assistance, Amber Spence (vocals-guitar) and Clinton Spence (drums-vocals) deliver a massive sound that belies their configuration as a duo.

"Spread that Eagle" and "Dirt in the Skirt" prove a formidable, high energy opening. "Hungry as Hell" and "Shakin' up Saturday" continue the nasty sound rock striking metal.

Amber's guitarwork on "Faster and Faster" shows a leaning towards glam/hard rock, while "Wasteland", "Rock Your City" (with a "Spinal Tap'" solo) and, to a marginally lesser extent "Master of Disaster", points to Motorhead turf. "Rock Your City" recalls heavy funk. "Fat N Greasy" takes funk and crosses it with Sabbath-inspired riffing.

Another highlight (and surprise to me) is the stadium anthem-flavoured "Rock 'n' Roll Ain't a Crime". It might just prompt a 'please explain' from a couple of brothers with the surname Young. Then again if they haven't already been to ask Airbourne and The Casanovas for royalties, they probably won't come knocking soon.

All up, "Dirt In The Skirt" is one mighty impressive effort which can lay claim to being one of the more strident and ballsy Oz rock releases of 2010. - Simon Li

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BLOOD, SWEAT & BEERS - BugGIRL (Impedance)
The Powder Monkeys beat them to the title but that probably won't faze Wollongong, Australia, brother-and-sister duo BugGIRL who drop this five-song bomb with all the confidence of Enola Gay's pilot over Hiroshima. It's fast 'n' nasty, shoot-from-the-hip, metallic speedrock with all the subtlety of a migraine.

And that's the way you'll probably like it if you're at all well disposed to this sort of stuff. The Buggers don't so much wear their hearts on their sleeves as have MRI scans of their tickers and upload the pictures to Facebook with privacy settings turned off. If you can't work out what's going down with song titles like "V8 Motor", "Motor City Lover" and "Fire Highway" you're probably a Barry Manilow fan.

Produced by well-credentialled Mark Optiz (Cold Chisel, AC/DC) the EP's an obvious play to the guys (they almost always are) that occupy the front row of concerts all round the world with hands raised in devil's head gestures that are permanent enough to induce Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. I'd rather they did that than raise lighters or iPhones, which remind me of REO Speedwagon. All things considered, BugGIRL have more in common with REO Speed Dealer.

Vocalist-guitarist Amber Spence has a voice that would drop a row of crows from a telegraph line at 100 metres. This weapon is turned to "stun", while she wields her guitar like a powerdrill in a cheap splatter movie. Your stereo will probably be flecked with blood halfway through. Brother and drummer Clinton has this backbeat thing down to a fine art. He doesn't rely on a lot of flash but nails his kit to the floor.

Many two pieces struggle for the lack of a bottom end. BugGIRL ploughs through their work regardless, but a duo playing that way outside of the garage rock framework does initially take some listening adjustments.

BugGIRL's songs - or at least the five here - don't strike me as special with "V8 Motor" and "Fire Highway" the pick. "Bad Blood" doesn't go many places but does give Amber in particular a chance to show off. I'm willing to believe the best tunes have been saved for the impending album. - The Barman




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