These are my records: Queens of Noise

The Runaways: “Queens of Noise”

An all-girl band featuring a very young Joan Jett and future glam metal star Lita Ford, the Runaways had a lot more going for them in the musical talent department than bands like the Sex Pistols or Spice Girls, to name two groups that were assembled in the same way. But having all that talent doesn’t necessarily translate to making a great album, and Queens of Noise is Exhibit A in that argument. Jett’s “I Love Playing with Fire” is far and away the best track on the record – you can definitely hear the archetypal Joan Jett sound that she and the Blackhearts would make famous four or five years later; I also love the title of “Neon Angles on the Road to Ruin,” but not the actual song. As for the rest of it, I’ve already forgotten what most of it sounds like.

Saint Vitus: “Hallow’s Victim”

With a sound more like Black Sabbath than Black Flag, Saint Vitus wasn’t really a great fit for their label, LA-based hardcore/punk specialists SST. The band’s early albums (of which this is one) serve as the prototype for the “doom metal” subgenre that emerged in the ‘90s: murky guitars, plodding tempos, sword-and-sorcery-themed lyrics. True, it all seems played out now, but there was still some life left in it back in 1985. I remember being pretty enthusiastic about Saint Vitus for a while in high school; then they changed singers and I stopped caring about them.