Femme Fatale – One for the Road (Album Review)

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Femme Fatale is an American hard rock band, originally from New Mexico, but relocated to Los Angeles, who were active from 1987 to 1990 and then again from 2013–present. Before disbanding Femme Fatale released one self-titled studio album in 1988 to decent critical reception and I, personally, loved the record and was a huge fan. Lead vocalist, Lorraine Lewis, restarted the band in 2013 with a new, all-female line-up.

Femme Fatale‘s One More for the Road is an album that should have been released in 1990, under the title of Lady in Waiting. It was recorded with the original members but never saw the light of day, but here it is 26 years later thanks to the folks at FnA Records. Please keep in mind that this is a selection of demos and although they have been mastered by FnA, they have a raw, live feeling, so it’s not as polished as you might expect.

One More for the Road bursts open with “Don’t Mean Nothing” and all I can think it’s great to hear Lorraine Lewis‘ vocals again! This is a great, rocking, opening number with some fantastic solo work too, showing the heavier direction that Femme Fatale was headed in back in 1990. “Lady in Waiting” has an infectious opening riff and is another real heavy fist-pumper, transporting me back to my teenage years. “I Know” again starts with a great riff and off we go into another great ripping track with Lorraine‘s fantastic vocals front and centre. “One More for the Road” keeps things tearing right along and there is no lack of punch in this record so far! We move onto “Buried Alive” which is the first ballad on the CD, a lovely, catchy song. Not another ballad but more of a slow-paced rocker, “The Alley” is next in the playlist serving as a buildup to “Fallen Child” which gets us up and on our feet and rocking again. Lots of great guitar work on “Fallen Child” with tons of raspy, gritty vocals here too. “Til it’s Shot” explodes out of the speakers and we are treated to more rock delight with another addictive chorus. “Ain’t Nothing Better” has a massive heavy riff running straight through it which gets you almost involuntarily nodding your head with approval. “Another Piece of My Heart” is a fantastic version of Janis Joplin‘s track, Lorraine‘s vocals doing justice to the original version. “I’m Back” serves as my least favourite track and I just can’t seem to catch it’s buzz at all, but “Sacred Bible” is another good solid rock number. “Stiffed” contains another outstanding riff with solid guitar work running through it. All backed up, of course, by the fantastic vocals of Lorraine and some good gang vocals during the chorus. “Lost Generation” is the closing track on the album and continues along the same great rock sound that runs throughout One More for the Road.

On the whole, this is a great gathering of demo tracks with a talented bunch of musicians. Obviously, it would sound a lot better all polished up and I reckon that 10 tracks are enough, but it’s great to hear these lost gems. I wish Lorraine Lewis would record some new material with her new, current Femme Fatale lineup. If you’re already a fan, you will love One More for the Road but if you have never heard of Femme Fatale this may not be the album that wins you over completely.

Mark 8 out of 10

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BUY: Femme Fatale – One More for the Road

Femme Fatale (Lorraine Lewis) Website / Femme Fatale Facebook / Femme Fatale Twitter

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