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Jizzy Pearl Just a Boy

By Mick Stingley, Contributor
Tuesday, February 17, 2004 @ 2:01 PM


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Jizzy Pearl, the voice of Love/Hate, (and the vocalist whose work since then includes time spent with LA Guns, Ratt, and currently, Adler’s Appetite, featuring Steven Adler, the original drummer from Guns ‘N Roses), has managed to eke out some time between touring projects, and writing books, to record 10 songs for his debut as a solo performer. It has been quite a long time since his last record with L/H, and over five years since his last record of new material, on LA Guns’ Shrinking Violet.

As Mr. Pearl was not the principal songwriter in Love/Hate, and with Shrinking Violet being a LA Guns project, the stakes are pretty high: is he up to the task? Can he go it alone? The answer is a resounding, loud-rocking, “Fuck, yeah!”

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Jizzy plays to his strengths. He is a vocalist who has a raspy-wail and he rides it through without overstaying his welcome. In a world of growling, sniveling, whining and yodeling, his singing on Just A Boy comes across as the voice of a man whose arrogant vocal swagger says young, loud and snotty. Lyrically, his narrative is open-heartedness tinged with jaded cynicism. If he were a character out of a Western movie, he would fall somewhere between the nameless hero of A Fistful Of Dollars and the protagonist of The Unforgiven. A modern-day rock Palladin, he is a vocal gunslinger who has seen it all, done it all, but still has a heart. And steeped in the scuz-glam of the era that brought him to prominence, (and mercifully free of what would be hollow attempts to cater to a slick modern sound bathed in low-tone guitars, or teen-angst lyrics): this CD kicks off with the crash and bang of “Feed Your Head,” a terse speedy rocker, and keeps the heat up high, cooking all the way through the closer: stopping briefly for the acoustic/rock ballad, “Better Days.”

On Just A Boy, Jizzy Pearl has assembled a stellar posse to ride with him, too: featured players include Steve Stevens (on three songs), Tracii Guns, Jon E. Love and Darrel Roberts (of Love/Hate), Muddy and Johhny Crypt (ex-LAG), and Dave Moreno on drums. “Extreme,” a metallic blast co-written with Skid from L/H, and Hell, even Keff Ratcliffe (Pretty Boy Floyd and LAG) pitched in, doing the CD booklet, a glossy six-page number with all the lyrics and a couple of cool pics.

With these fine players in tow, Mr. Pearl is free to wail away and rock steady. The songs are terrific. Noteworthy: “Feed Your Head;” the kickstart headbanging snarling Sex Pistols-meets-Love/Hate opener, “Do You Wanna Get High?” a ridiculously catchy, blazing rock come-on; “Better Days,” a hopeful ballad where Jizzy stretches out, showing a little heard pleasant singing voice, [“Better days are comin’/the sun’s gonna shine down through your window/better days are comin’ up/make-believe ‘til your fantasies turn real”]; “Never Let You Go,” a haunting Led Zep meets LA Guns stalkerish-song (featuring Tracii); “I’m On Fire,” a mid-tempo rock ballad with a lullaby chorus, acoustic layers, soft piano and Skynyrd-esque “Free Bird” sustained guitar leads that sounds blissfully flash-frozen in time from 1989 when it would have been “most-added at radio” and “Dad,” a rocking paean to a lost father with Ramones-like velocity.

A clever, solid debut. Behold, The Pale Rider. Jizzy Pearl has returned, guns blazing…

(Available at www.jizzypearl.com)

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