This album definitively symbolizes the Euro heavy metal scene of the 1981 to 1983 period. Built upon the young Danish band’s demo songs the writing is rather basic and the production merely adequate. Having said that, the self-titled debut mini-LP is explosive and beautiful, heavy and melodic, and original yet an amalgamation of everything the sextet of Ronnie Atkins, guitarists Ken Hammer and Pete Collins, bassist John Darrow, drummer Phil Moorheed and keyboardist Alan Owen had internalized in their earlier days. With two demos to its name and a background as a Thin Lizzy and Rainbow cover band this is Pretty Maids at its formative stage laying down driving riffs atop of hard rocking material from the late '70s and early '80s.
The album starts with City Light - although one is liable to write City Lights given the infectious chorus of the track - which is a melodic and catchy, yet torrential scandal. How so? Pretty Maids should have broken big. The band, here, is like a raw nerve strung on a six-string axe. This is an excellent start and one that gets it right. Fantasy is next and, it would not be an exaggeration to say, it is one of the best metal ballads ever. The guitars are phenomenal, as are the drum beats and the effects. Shelly The Maid is next (she was also depicted on my version’s cover, although a later version chose to de-sexualize the EP) and is quite Thin Lizzy-esque. The song is nice, hard and a perfect listen for a finger and hand exercise.
Off to side two and here come the Bad Boys. This is another one of the Maidens’ heavier tracks - after a cool intro - that is ripe for head banging. It is almost venturing into the realm of thrash and speed. Children Of Tomorrow is a narrative story put to heartfelt and emotional music. Wait for even more exceptionally simple and classy soloing and a touch of keyboards. The album appropriately ends with Nowhere To Run because there is nowhere to go now, but back to Side One. This is likely the album’s most chaotic song and simultaneously my least favourite.
Pretty Maids’ debut is a fantastic journey for heavy metal fans and one that is almost equalled by the band’s 1985 full-length, Red, Hot And Heavy. Between this EP and that album, the band suffered a couple of comings and goings, although neither lacks in quality or showmanship. - Ali “The Metallian”


Pretty Maids