The third volume of Ace's Girls with Guitars series focuses once again on all-female and female-fronted garage rock bands from the mid- to late '60s, as well as tougher than average solo acts from the same period. This set gathers up songs from a wider geographic range than the others did, reaching out to Japan, New Zealand, and Italy to bring back peppy rockers, mascaraed-up spy tunes, and a classic garage stomper by the Chicks ("The Rebel Kind"). It even jumps out of the '60s and into the '80s to grab a track from the Billy Childish-affiliated Delmonas. Their groovy version of the Merseybeat rarity "Peter Gunn Locomotion" sounds a little out of place but certainly captures the same spirit the rest of the tracks do. As with any collection, the quality goes up and down, but as with the other two, it's consistently on the up side here. Three more tracks from the Detroit all-girl band the Debutantes, who contributed a rocking version of "Shake a Tail Feather" to the second GWG collection, are some of the most exciting finds here. Their three songs range from the minor-key melancholy of "A New Love Today" to the fun R&B of "Love Is Strange" and the incredible smooth soul ballad "Strong Foundation," which was produced by Andre Williams and sounds like a lost classic. The quality of the songs and their playing is so high, it's a real shame they weren't able to cut more singles or a full album. Mousie & the Traps also impress with their psychedelic girl group handclapper "How About You," as do the Chymes and their folk-rock girl group jangler "He's Not There Anymore," which was co-written by Turtle Howard Kaylan. Brenda Lee's rip-roaring take on "What'd I Say," recorded in 1964 and featuring a young Jimmy Page on guitar, is another fun track, and Dana Gillespie's "You Just Gotta Know My Mind" is one of the great freakbeat tracks. Add to these gems the Girls' classic outsider girl group anthem "Chico's Girl," a couple of great songs from maybe the best all-girl band of the era, Goldie & the Gingerbreads, and "Dream Boy," a wonderfully tough Jackie DeShannon cut from 1964 that also featured Page on guitar, and it ends up as the strongest, most varied volume of Girls with Guitars to date.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Tim Sendra