Driving Mrs Satan - Popscotch

11 songs
40:43 minutes
***** ***


Driving Mrs Satan is a trio located partly in London and Naples. The band name might let you expect some kind of black metal band, but one couldn’t be any more wrong. The trio consists of a female singer with a very delicate and erotic, nearly fragile voice and two guys who play guitar and drums. Popscotch is their first album on which they perform lounge version of eleven very popular metal classics. The idea is certainly not a new one, and possibly started in 1995 when The Cardigans did their tender yet exciting rendition of Sabbath Bloody Sabbath. Since then artists like Hellsongs, Sankt Otten, Nouvelle Vague and Richard Cheese also did similar stuff.

This poses the question if the joke is still working. To answer without further ado: yes, it still does! The opener is I Want Out, not one of my favourite Helloween tracks, but its poppy nature allows Driving Mrs Satan to transform it into an equally lively version. I have noticed early on that the trio is most at ease when they try their hands on more upbeat source material. Therefore 2 Minutes To Midnight and Can I Play With Madness are among the highlights of the CD. The band doesn’t hide its predilection for Iron Maiden, but it doesn’t always work. Killers is definitely not an ideal candidate for lounge music. The more aggressive source material, like Battery (Metallica) and Killed By Death (Motörhead) evidently also lack the originals’ brutality. The songs are still pleasant enough, but can’t compete with the metal versions. Furthermore we get renditions of Caught In A Mosh (Anthrax) which sounds nearly as fun as the recent version by Waltari; Never Say Die (Black Sabbath) in a strongly arranged Americana fashion; South Of Heaven (Slayer) which is just as good as the original; From Out Of Nowhere (Faith No More) which is another weaker moment. The unavoidable highlight is AC/DC’s Hells Bells which comes with kinetic piano movements that reminds of good, old Ben Folds.

Not every song is a hit, but all in all it must be said that Popscotch has become a very agreeable listening experience. The three musicians’ passion is ubiquitous, and it really takes guts to soften metal classics without ever losing your cool. Let’s hope that a possible successor will only contain smash versions of high grade metal classics.

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