I'd be lying if I didn't say that I have a bias toward supporting anything that says "Love/Hate" on the cover of it. Without any question, Love/Hate was my favorite band of the entire 80s "hair metal" era. Not Motley Crue. Not Warrant. Not Winger. Not Cinderella. Not those poseur bitches in Poison. Love/Hate was the band for me, and the reasons were very obvious. Of all the hair farmer bands, Love/Hate was the band that sang about things that were closer to where I was at the time. While the other bands were focused on sex and the party, Love/Hate was a lot more street level and focused a lot more on the boozing and pot early on...which is where I was at. "Fuel To Run", "One More Round", "Wasted In America" - all these songs hit home for me in the early '90s when they came out. Interestingly though, as the project became much more of a Jizzy Pearl thing than the original lineup, the music has matured and has stayed in sync with how I've grown as a person. His solo albums have produced songs like "Hit And Miss' that are relatable to me, as are other songs like "Do You Believe In Miracles" from LET'S RUMBLE as the career has progressed. Back with an EP called CRUCIFIED, Pearl and the formerly named Love/Hate has stayed in step with my musical taste.
To be clear here, there's pretty much no difference between Pearl's solo releases VEGAS MUST DIE and JUST A BOY stylistically from what you find here on CRUCIFIED. It's my guess that in the grand scheme of things, the Love/Hate moniker just opens the music up to a larger array of people, which is why this one is called Love/Hate. While the music is a bit more mid-tempo than you might expect from Love/Hate, there's no denying the impressive quality of it. There's a dirty groove that dominates the disc's best track "Sunny Day". Listening to all the songs on CRUCIFIED, you find everything musically you would expect from Pearl's past, and yet you get a sound that's fresh and fun. Songs of despair like "You're Making Me Nervous" read like a horrific date that ends up at your house and on your couch, albeit in as uncomfortable a manner as can be possible. It's interesting writing from Pearl; in one breath very much like material from his past, and in the other showing the creativity in descriptive wordsmithing that made his books so compelling. At other times, the vibe is much more uplifting. Songs like "I Don't Want To Be Your Baby" have lyrics that aren't exactly inviting, but has an old school Zeppelin-esque, airy vibe to it that just gets your head swaying back and forth as you listen. Songs like "Hanging You Out To Dry" revisit the always present punk angst that has driven Pearl for most of his career. In short, CRUCIFIED is almost like a new collection of tunes that acts as a retrospective to Pearl's entire career. That's a damn good thing.
PITRIFF RATING - 91/100 - While all eyes will be on Pearl's new venture with Quiet Riot to see just how that will sound, CRUCIFIED makes a very strong case not to forget about him or Love/Hate when all of that starts firing up next year. While it's a short EP, it more than packs enough quality to make it worth the purchase. Very good stuff.