Outrageous and provocative, L.A. heavy metal band Bitch earned a small but loyal following in the early '80s with its humorous odes to bondage/S&M. Though lead singer Betsy Bitch's portrayal of the dominatrix from hell was very tongue-in-cheek, the band had its share of critics -- who ranged from feminists on the left to Christian fundamentalists on the right. By the time The Bitch Is Back was released in 1987, the headbangers had come to feel that the S&M element was overshadowing their music, and toned their lyrics down a bit. Though the album contains fewer references to whips, chains, and handcuffs than Bitch's previous releases, Damnation Alley (1981) or Be My Slave (1983), the band was still gutsier and much more arresting than so many of the "corporate metal" outfits dominating L.A.'s metal/hard rock scene in 1987. When Betsy (who still came across as a much wilder version of Pat Benatar) tears into a heartfelt cover of Elton John's "The Bitch Is Back" and bombastic originals like "Fist to Face," "Skullcrusher," and "Hot and Heavy," she makes it clear how brutally fun real metal can be.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson