Since Courtney, Cerys and Justine quit the frontline, women in rock have been neither out in front or on top – but discernibly AWOL. Compare this to hiphop and R&B, where Missy, Eve and Beyoncé continue to break barriers and even fledgling movements like UK garage incubate talents like MC Felon and So Solid’s Lisa Maffia.
Perhaps the saddest indictment is that the rock burden falls almost entirely on the shoulders of the all-female, Canadian death-metal trio Kittie. It’s one that proves far too much for blister-throated sisters Morgan (guitar and vocals) and Mercedes (drums) Lander and Talena Atfield (bass). Too often, the follow-up to their 600,000-selling debut ‘Spit’, is plain overbearing, a violent marriage of melody and brutality that makes for a highly uneasy listen, to which the rolling thunder-drums and bile-based vocals of tracks like ‘Mouthful of Poison’ and ‘In Winter’ are testimony. The only respite comes via album highlight ‘Safe’ – a near-operatic oasis of calm in the surrounding chaos and a track fit for even the most horizontally disposed of chill-out albums.