ALBUM REVIEW: Maid Of Ace – Live Fast Or Die (self-released)

Maid Of Ace are a band whose progress I’ve followed closely since happening upon them at the new band stage at Rebellion Festival back in 2013.

Their unique selling point is that they’re four sisters from Hastings who formed a punk band way back in 2005, when they were still at school.

Alison Elliott on vocals, Anna on guitar, Amy on bass and Abby on drums are a fearsome live act, full of vim and vigour, and before 2020 was turned upside down they were beginning to get some prestigious support slots with the likes of Anti-Flag and The Exploited.

Brody Dalle and The Distillers are clearly a huge influence, along with no-holds-barred punk bands like The Casualties, and they even veer towards hardcore in places, but Maid Of Ace are finding their own sound with each successive album.

Maid Of Ace. Pic by Gary Welford.

Their 2014 self-titled debut was raw but full of promise, 2016’s follow-up Maid In England a big step forward, both in terms of songs and production values, and this is their best album yet.

Their first had three or four standout tracks, and the second much more consistent, but this one is all-killer, no-filler.

They come roaring out of the traps with Let’s Go, and follow it with Live Fast Or Die, all swaggering guitars, a locked-n rhythm section and larynx-shredding vocals. The good news is that the pace scarcely lets up.

Hit ‘Em Harder could be the girls’ mission statement, showing they can deliver this stuff just as well as the boys, but they have little to prove, as musically they’re a tight-knit unit.

This Is War is another full-on punk song, and Repent, one of the tracks used to trail the album, is one of its very best.

Both it and The Terror are examples of how the girls’ songwriting has come on in leaps and bounds, and how they’re increasingly using Anna, whose howl is impressively feral, as a second vocalist.

The intensity levels are maintained with Energy, and turned up a notch with Rollin’ Stone, and it’s only on Forever and the closing Nostalgia where they take their foot off the pedal slightly.

I don’t know why a band this good haven’t been signed. Perhaps they prefer to remain fiercely independent. If so, fair play to them.

This is the album Maid Of Ace have been threatening to make. If you love rowdy punk rock, you need it in your life. 9/10.

  • Live Fast or Die is available directly from the band now HERE on CD and vinyl (shipping 26 October), and digitally from their Bandcamp page HERE.

Gary Welford owner