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Album Review : Jizzy Pearl’s Love/Hate: Hell, CA

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Review by Pete Finn for MPM

Jizzy Pearl has had notable performances in several heavy metal and hard rock bands. He first fronted the band Data Clan, which eventually became Love/Hate.

During the late 1980s, Pearl sang for Love/Hate, and they achieved notoriety for performances as the house band at the Whisky a Go Go in Hollywood. Pearl known for his “gritty-sounding blues-influenced” vocals, has also sung for L.A. Guns, Ratt, Adler’s Appetite, Quiet Riot amongst others.

This is the by my reckoning the seventh studio album under the various versions of the “Love/Hate” name, Pearl has recorded. Completing the rest of the band are Stevie Pearce (guitars), Christian Kimmett (bass) and Charles Evans (drums).

Hell, California was a real place, and was founded by Charles Carr in 1954. As of 1958 Carr, his wife, and their ten-year-old son Terry were the only inhabitants.

Hell was abandoned in the late 1950s or early 1960s when it was isolated by the construction of a couple of highways. The 1990 Love/Hate album ‘Blackout in the Red Room’ features a track called ‘Hell, Ca., Pop. 4’.

The album contains 10 tracks which give you 41 minutes’ worth of listening. The opening track ‘One Hot Minute’ takes us straight to Downtown LA, strap yourself in tight this is going to be one hell of a ride. A quick riff, a volley of drums, a quick scream and we’re off.

Crashing drums and racing rhythms punctuated by quick lyrics and lead breaks. A high-speed Stevie Pearce solo brings the track across the finish line…now I can breathe and open my eyes.

Acid Baby’ is next, a start/stop track, where the verses are constructed by alternating vocals and instruments. The chorus brings all the elements together, and you end up with a full-on heavy sound.

‘Gonna Take You Higher’ an acoustic guitar intro, but it’s not long before an explosion of Evans’ drums and Kimmett’s bass launch Pearl’s vocal. The vocal is slower, but floats above a low swirling current of riffs and beats.

Cutting through the sea of sounds there is a screeching solo that slaps the ears. Next, we have ‘Soul Mama’ this is a hard-hitting rock track containing elements of Led Zeppelin and AC/DC, which is an excellent combination when you add Pearl’s distinctive vocal into the mix. High speed guitars and pounding beats, genuine Heavy Rock, brilliant.

The track ‘Hard to Say Goodbye’, is slightly slower, and more relaxed than the previous one, it has a strong vocal, but with Evan’s drum beat supporting this with the reassurance of a trusted ‘spotter’. Short sharp guitar breaks from Pearce keep the track focused and on point.

A down and dirty ‘When You Gonna Come Home’ is next, full of the atmosphere of the sleazier side of the Sunset Strip, it has a great feel. Slow hard bass, power riffs and a fantastic lead solo give this an excellent 80’s vibe.

‘Last Chance’ has a much slower tempo, a ballad in comparison to the earlier tracks. A controlled vocal from Pearl that oozes passion and emotion. Is he pleading for forgiveness? The solo carries the same sentiment. This will get the lighters/phones waving, this would also be a belter of a track to be performed acoustically.

‘Bruised and Battered’ ramps up nicely, another start/stop track, Pearl’s vocal trading blows with the rhythms and beats.

The tempo builds, as the onslaught of a precise Pearce solo carefully and accurately punches your senses. Great fun.

We’re back in sleazy mode with ‘Wanna Be Somebody’, this was the first single released from the album, Pearl is narrating the lyrics, the bass and drums filling the gaps between the words. Stevie Pearce treats us to a blistering solo.

The final track is ‘Lonely Days are Gone’ and at a shade under six minutes it’s a real epic in Love/Hate terms. This has a real early Zeppelin feel, with subtle tempo changes, harmonies and piercing vocals. It’s classic rock with hypnotic sounds and tempos. It even has a crashing drum roll to finish. Loved it.

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