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Love/Hate - Hell, CA

Hell, CA
by Chris Hicklin at 23 May 2022, 1:40 PM

For most afficionados of Rock, LOVE/HATE’s Jizzy Pearl needs no formal introduction, we all know him from a slew of Hair Rock bands from the 80s. Never quite reaching the upper echelons of success, he has none-the-less carved out quite a career for himself singing for, shall we say, second tier of Glam/Hair Metal acts such as RATT, L.A GUNS, ADLER’S APPETITE and more. More recently he has fronted 70s Metal legends QUIET RIOT. This release is under the LOVE/HATE moniker, which is so synonymous with Pearl that the album cover now carries his name alongside the band’s. I cannot find any information about the individual players on the album, so forgive the lack of clarity on that front.

First two tracks are just exactly what you would expect from an outfit such as this “One Hot Minute” opens with a riff reminiscent of GUN’sWelcome to the Real World” but like the following “Acid Babe” is an archetypal, driving Blues based rocker with Pearl’s distinctive gravelly-but-powerful roar leading the way, with typically banal lyrics. “Gonna Take You Higher” gets down into the gutter a little further with sleazy riffing to match the sleazy lyrics. This is the first track that really grabbed me by the throat musically, the riff is downright dirty as is the impressive guitar solo which seemed to visit every fret on the neck.

Soul Mama” keeps the pressure on as the band summon the spirit of Bon Scott for a strutting, preening AC/DC style Hard Rocker, while “Hard to Say Goodbye” breaks out some minor pentatonic Jimmy Page riffing and a huge arena-filling yet deeply personal chorus that pays tribute to Pearl’s brother Bill who died in 2018.  I wasn’t too taken with “When You Gonna Come Home,” which was repetitive and had little to distinguish it from any other Bluesy rocker. Similarly, the ballad “Last Chance” doesn’t really go anywhere, it’s up to “Bruised and Battered” to up the stakes with an enigmatic intro that leads into a grooving piece with the guitar leading the melody. The verses sink back into the foot stomping formula that much of the material relies on, but the choruses are a tuneful blast. “Wanna Be Somebody” has a tight funky riff but continues this trend of woolly verses and memorable choruses, the fluid, shreddy guitar solo is preceded by a clever vocal section but the song is again that bit too generic to really stick with you after it has finished. Probably the best song on the album is the final track “Lonely Days are Gone” which features a soulful and heartfelt performance from Pearl and smooth gospel inspired backing vocals, the song seems to snap half-way through and become a completely different song, repeating the same vocal refrain but becoming a runaway freight train of a Rocker with concert-ending finish.

There’s no doubting the pedigree of the performers here, as individuals the unnamed souls who have created this are clearly all excellent performers. Jizzy Pearl himself is a superb performer and he hangs it all out here, delivering a top-notch vocal performance. For me however, the song writing is just not strong enough to create a lasting impression, while there are many genuine moments of surprise and excitement, there is too much homogenous Blues Rock for my liking.

Songwriting: 6
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 6
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

1. One Hot Minute
2. Acid Babe
3. Gonna Take You Higher
4. Soul Mama
5. Hard to Say Goodbye
6. When You Gonna Come Home
7. Last Chance
8. Bruised and Battered
9. Wanna Be Somebody
10. Lonely Days are Gone
Jizzy Pearl - Vocals
Stevie Pearce - Guitars
Christian Kimmett - Bass
Charles Evans - Drums
Record Label: Golden Robot Records


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