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Ira Blonder
Franklin, TN, United States
Ira Blonder is the Managing Partner of Sound Kitchen Studios (www.soundkitchen.com)and The Blonder Group, LLC (www.blondergroup.com)
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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Stealing Betty – Stealing Betty EP – CD Review

Stealing Betty rocks and is one of the best bands ever! Their performance is sexy, dirty, raw, and fills the room with gripping energy” (J. Gall,Spin/Rolling Stone). This group of four hailing from Michigan got together in 2008 to form Stealing Betty and consists of Tonya (singer), Myke (guitar), Deano (drums) and Tom (bass). Their debut, self-titled EP was produced by Mike Puwal (Zug Izland & ICP) at Nashville’s Sound Kitchen and mastered by Brad Blackwood (Saving Abel, Sick Puppies), not too bad for four people from Michigan as a break through composition.

Strap in for a thrilling ride with the first track of the album, “Natural Born Thrillers.” The distorted guitar in the beginning of the song, Myke sets the tone for the album that this female fronted metal band has a different sound than what you’re used to…it’s crisp and clean, while still raw and dirty. “I wanna be your dirty woman” is the first line from Tonya and it’s “the beginning of something neither of us planned.” This track is a of dirty love song that grabs the listener by the lapel and throws them into the middle of a head banging, sweaty, adrenaline filled rock show, a great choice for the single.

Myke’s guitar solo seems to play alone to Tonya’s lyrical rhythm, except it’s a few octaves up. With a strong, solid voice in the lower register, Tonya seems to be a blend of Shirley Manson with a side of Joan Jett and it’s a welcomed blend for sure. “Natural Born Thrillers” not only showcases Tonya and Myke’s abilities, but there is a chorus for each member of the band to strut their stuff.  The second to last chorus of the song features Tom jamming out on bass solo while the final chorus features Deano wailing on the toms and bass pedal of his kit. The end to this song is much like that heard for the finale of a live performance, with all the members going crazy on their instruments and Tonya holding out a long note, then the whole group coming together for the big finish.

“Shut Up” and listen to the next song on the album which starts with Myke ringing in your left ear and Tom crawling in your right.  Effects on Tonya’s voice reverberate through your eardrums and Deano keeps the rhythm. “You’re not the man I thought you’d be, so don’t you fu@#^% lie to me!” is the mantra of this song. Sprinkles of guitar riffs are spread throughout this track that tells some unnamed “murderer of love” to stop wasting his breathe and just “Shut up!”  There is definitely plenty of attitude in this song and it fuels this metal band to create a really angry, empowering rock anthem.

The instruments in this next track start off with Myke, then “Multiply” to bring you Deano, then Tom, and Tonya bringing in the rear to complete the full sound of this equation to rock your face off. Tom’s tuned down bass makes it easy to hear the plucking of strings throughout the entire track, something that is not a common sound in rock and, as a bass player, I can appreciate the layer of complexity it adds to this song about a compulsive liar who is trying not to spiral out of control. This is the most audibly impressive track on the EP, by far. The differing tempos and additions of electronic elements with varying riffs help to add to this complex theme that is topped off with all the boys lending their vocals and multiplying with Tonya to a crashing end of the track.

The EP is set to “Fade Away” with the final track, but all it really ends up doing is leaving the listener wanting more. The intro bass riff is very reminiscent of the old style of Fieldy from KoRn and the vibration of the strings can be heard throughout the entirety of the song. The previously mentioned electronic elements are again present in this song, but they don’t take away from the metal in the least, if anything, it’s more of a cohesive blend that helps to further improve both individual aspects. Tonya seems to be begging her love interest to open up to her so she can help him with his problems. The chorus sings, “You can do what you want to, but I’ll be there to stop you, cause I won’t stand by and watch you fade away.” Without being able to know the subject though, Tonya can’t do anything to help them and the song finally fades to an end, along with the rest of the EP while listeners beg Tonya and the boys to get to know them more with additional tracks.

These four unique tracks definitely stick in your head.  The only problem is that they leave you wanting more that isn’t there. While there is much diversity throughout the EP, these four songs are not sufficient enough to give listeners an idea of the full range of Stealing Betty. The band should have sacrificed a bit more time to make a full length album release to feed the hunger for more of their music.

See http://stealingbetty.com for more info!

Rating: 8.9/10