Album Review: Jizzy Pearl – “All You Need Is Soul”
The past few years have been a bit of a weird time for Love/Hate fans. When the original line-up briefly reunited around the turn of the decade for the twentieth anniversary of their classic debut, Blackout In The Red Room, the bonhomie quickly turned sour with guitarist Jon E Love and the rest of the band falling out and that old Sunset Strip rock classic, a tug of war over usage of the band name, ensuing.
Singer Jizzy Pearl, always the most industrious of the group down the years, put out an EP under his own name, 2014’s Crucified which was a bit of a so-so effort. However, 2018 sees him returning to the fray with L/H drummer Joey Gold and guitarist Darren Householder, who replaced Love in the line-up during the mid-90s, on board for this new album.
It gets off to a storming start – You’re Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone is exactly the sort of pounding no-holds-barred rocker that the Crucified EP was lacking, and pummels through. However, the album then quickly stumbles with the sluggish Comin’ Home To The Bone and High For An Eye which aims for the twisted groove of 70s Aerosmith, but doesn’t quite hit the target.
In fact, not quite hitting the target is probably the main characteristic of the first side of All You Need Is Soul and makes it a very frustrating listen – a lot of these songs come annoyingly close to working, but somewhere something just doesn’t quite click. The title track sounds like Taste The Pain era Red Hot Chili Peppers (i.e. before they went middle aged and boring) and is okay, but doesn’t quite grab you the way you’re hoping it will, ditto Mortified which starts off really promising with a guitar and drums pile up, but then turns into an average mid-tempo rocker. Bluddyell, ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?
Things do improve through the second half though. Frustrated is a scuzzy slice of Motorhead style speeded-up rock and probably the highlight of this album, while the sludgy Sabbath/Metallica-indebted When The Devil Comes at least packs a bit of menace and power during its seven minutes. You Don’t Know What It’s Like and It Doesn’t Matter add some acoustic guitars to the mix which provides a bit of a change of pace, and the furious Mr Jimmy closes this off in a suitably frenetic fashion, with Jizzy spitting bile into the mic as the band power through behind him.
A bit of a hit and miss affair from Jizzy and his crew, but at least it's a step up quality wise from the Crucified EP and shows a few glimpses that the guy's still got a bit of fire left. Yes, it's still a long way short of Blackout or Wasted In America quality wise, but any sleaze rock fans looking for something new this month could definitely do a lot worse than this.