VEGAS MUST DIE
Jizzy Pearl has always been one that has a slightly different perception of things. Anyone that’s read his books or the short stories on his Web site realizes that. When I heard that Jizzy was putting out a new solo album and questioned him about it, he initially stated that this was his “best material since BLACKOUT”.
As the biggest Love/Hate fan ever to grace the Earth (and probably the only person that has every album, bootleg and b-sides collection that Skid has prostituted out there), I took that claim as almost an insurmountable statement. After all, BLACKOUT IN THE RED ROOM is not only this band’s defining achievement, but arguably the best undiscovered album of the “hairband” period in a lot of circles. Pearl had an album last year called JUST A BOY, and it was very good, but even he didn’t claim it to be “best since BLACKOUT”. So, with readiness to be let down, I popped VEGAS MUST DIE into my player upon receipt. You know what? It didn’t really let me down.
I’ll end one thing right here. This album is NOT better than BLACKOUT IN THE RED ROOM. It is, however, the best thing Pearl has been associated with since the moody LET’S RUMBLE from 1994. Unlike the bulk of the screamfests that he’s done in the past, Pearl has discovered that he can mix in his signature sound with some lower register singing. Songs like “Lies”, for example, showcase a new side of Pearl that has only rarely shown itself, and almost never on hard driving songs. The edgy “Little Dancer” mixes the various ranges that Pearl is capable of as well. There are also some interesting moments here that are much more bluesy than he’s ever done before. Songs like “True Love” and “You Don’t Want Me” have a new style for the current Ratt vocalist.
Don’t read this as Pearl trying to reinvent himself though. This is a fierce melodic metal album. Songs like “Ball and Gag” or “Hit And Miss” are some of the best songs that Pearl has been involved with well over a decade. While Jizzy Pearl has long been associated with great rockers, he’s somewhat secretly recorded a nice mix of interesting power ballads as well. Songs like “Wish I Had More Time” and “Do You Believe In Miracles” are some of the best in the Love/Hate catalog. Add the sad “How’d I Get So Lonely” to the mix of incredible ballads he’s recorded.
RATING – 10/10 – Man, this album is an ass kicker. Definitely my favorite album of the year to this point. There’s a lot of heartfelt pain recorded into this piece of plastic, but as the saying goes, “pain breeds creativity.” Without question, Jizzy Pearl has harnessed it on this release.