Dana Jade, Dana Jade, Priestess Records, 29 May 2012
Dana Jade’s eponymous debut solo record is a substantial rock steak with sass on the side but, for an artist who cut her teeth on collaborations with My Morning Jacket as a member of the all female alt-choir Gaggle, there is surprisingly little innovation present. Album opener, ‘Eyes Like Cinder’ is a strange choice for a first track; failing to set alight it slowly smoulders and does at least set out Dana Jade’s Shirley Manson inflected style. The pace picks up as Dana Jade continues: ‘The End of the Line’ has the kind of bottom of the gut vocals favoured by late nineties rockstrelle Aimee Echo (Human Waste Project).
Midpoint marker ‘Little Sister’ revisits a traditional rock trope. It hasn’t the sarcastic causticity of Billy Idol’s ‘White Wedding’, allegedly penned out of disdain for his little sister’s marital choices but Dana Jade’s contribution to her genre’s sibling preoccupation has bite regardless. It provides a cliff from which to fall into the dervish of spinning guitars in the dizzying ‘Gritting Teeth’.
Dana Jade flexes her muscles on the album’s most interesting songs: ‘She Or I Go’ and ‘Murky Tears’. The former is an affected punk diatribe with spitty drums. The latter is an attention-dominating slug of rock laden with gothic sensibilities: Brigitte West (New York Loose) would have been proud of this track, it parades all of Dana Jade’s post punk influences without any drop in pace.
Dana Jade is 2012’s post-Runaways Joan Jett, or at least she’d like to be. She swings and occasionally misses but if you like your guitars strained through party-soaked vocal chords, then this self-confident debut will satisfy your needs.
Did you ever listen to Human Waste Project? Did you ever defend Courtney Love from the haters? If you answer ‘yes’ then listen to this record and tell the girls are what you think in the comments below…