Released: 2013, self release
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
It's been nearly thirty years since JIZZY PEARL and his Love/Hate cohorts burst onto the scene and had critics falling over themselves to praise their storming debut album (1990's Black Out In the Red Room won Album of the Year plaudits from both Kerrang! and Metal Hammer). In the ensuing quarter century or so Pearl has certainly racked up experience (as well as experiences): he has fronted LA Guns, Ratt, Adler's Appetite and (most recently) Quiet Riot; released several further albums with L/H, penned three novels, released two solo albums, rejoined his former L/H bandmates for a reunion tour during which they played their groundbreaking solo album in full...phew. Impressed yet?
The announcement that Love/Hate intended to release a mini-album at the end of 2013 caused much excitement amongst fans. Sadly, their hopes were dashed after it emerged that Pearl was attempting to release solo material under his old band's moniker. The threat of legal action from his former bandmate Jon E. Love meant that the album was hastily rebranded as Jizzy Pearl material (despite Pearl using the name 'Love/Hate' since 2002. Laws + bands = headache!). Pearl has recently announced that his upcoming UK tour in March will be the final swansong of this version of the band.
So! After that avalanche of information, let's now go to the subject at hand: Jizzy Pearl's SOLO mini-album, 'Crucified'. Altohugh there is another interesting nugget to be told: the album's opening track 'Hanging You Out To Dry' was publicised in quite an astonishing way. Pearl actually erected a cross on the famous 'Hollywood' sign and positioned himself on it! (Cos the song is about the sign, and the perils of Hollywood and stuff, y'see). The song itself has a quite bluesy, classic rock vibe, with a rather snazzy guitar solo and delectably sleazy outro. Pearl's trademark voice is still very much in evidence after all these years (sounding a bit strained in places, though).
As a change of pace, next is the straight-up ballad of the album, 'Sunny Day'. This time the vibe is very Seventies rock: Free, Skynard, Bad Company, and so on. In fact, the song sounds like a proggier, dreamier version of the Co's 'Feel Like Making Love', although its lyrics are sweeter (and certainly more subtle) than the aforementioned!
At the other end of the relationship scale is the witty 'You're Making Me Nervous', during which Pearl references disastrous first dates. It's quite darkly comedic in tone (the ticking clock is a nice touch). Again, the sound is very Seventies rock, with the added bonus of Pearl's vocal strength within the lower end of his register. With lyrics such as "...do you wish you were somewhere else...can I get you a cocktail just to keep it alive?" one can almost picture the awkward silences and gathering of sweat on the protagonist's brow. However dourly amusing the lyrics may be, the song lacks any real structure.
The 'anti love song' is next, in the form of 'I Don't Want To Be Your Baby'. Perched lyrically between Motley Crue's defiant 'Don't Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)' and Meatloaf's self-pityingly maudlin 'Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad', this is another number that treads the by-now clear path of Seventies classic rock - Pearl has definitely stuck to his guns throughout! Again, his voice sounds strained at times here.
Apparently influenced by his love of all things Led Zep is track five, 'Love Is All'. It's quite a modern folk-y number, and is actually rather lovely. As before, the lower tone creates a stronger vocal performance. Rather abrupt ending aside, this is certainly the highlight of this mini album.
Final number 'Too Late' pertains to someone's desire to go back in time and change aspects of their life. Unfortunately, as Pearl intones, "you can't go back". This bluesy number really tries hard to be cautionary and sombre, but sadly comes across as a bit too earnest and, well, dull actually. The musicianship however is outstanding, with definite shades of Gary Moore's emotional playing style evident. It still doesn't stop this from being a bit of an tepid ending to the album.
For a man with such a prolific output over his professional life, one gets the distinct impression that, although this most recent Love/Hate incarnation will come to an end after their tour in March, Pearl's solo efforts will continue unabated. Will they set the world on fire, as his earlier band's debut album did? Based on this solid but unremarkable release..probably not. If he can harness that 'fire in the belly' passion from almost three decades ago then yeah, quite possibly!
Review by Melanie Brehaut