Thunderbitch released a self-titled LP back in 2015– It was a rock album for the books. The album leads off with “Leather Jacket” – a song that raves wanting such a commitment to a leather jacket that you wear it until you die and it disintegrates off your bones. The music is impressive, cohesive, and well-crafted. You would never guess that the members are all part of other bands thrown together in a cacophony of pseudonyms and second identities. Thunderbitch is a collection of musicians from both Fly Golden Eagle and Clear Plastic Masks, and fronted by none other than Thunderbitch herself, Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes.
In an interview with Rolling Stone in 2015, Howard said that Thunderbitch is about “bringing back the performance side of Rock and Roll,” or at least she assumes, not that she had anything to do with it. Howard denies her involvement in the band. Painting her face, wearing a wig and a leather jacket. Showing the other side of the coin compared to the Brittany Howard we see in Alabama Shakes.
Thunderbitch is trying to take us back to the ’80s. Back to the time of flamboyant rock, when it was all about performance and putting on a good show. Where they rolled out on motorcycles, broke things, jumped around etc. Howard is an excellent performer already, but without the pressure of seeming polished and being taken seriously, she takes it to the next level. Thunderbitch is a rock star by any other name, she writes good music, slams out amazing guitar solos, and appears on stage riding a motorcycle.
The album is begging to be taken seriously, even if the band is not. The album is well done. The sound is Alabama Shakes gone rogue. Like the spirit of Alabama Shakes left its body, found Lynyrd Skynyrd and ACDC and went home a changed woman. As many others have said before, you would never guess this was a side project. They still put soul into it like their livelihood depended on its success. The result, reminds us of the classic rock we used to know. It makes us nostalgic, pumped up, and a little nauseous from all the scream- singing. We can only hope it will continue.
Check it out here.