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Jizzy Pearl - Just A Boy
Outside of fronting Ratt and that not great L.A. Guns album, Jizzy Pearl has not made any creative missteps. Love/Hate was amazing, everything Guns N' Roses wished they could be, plus the brains that band never wished 'cos they never knew. Back with a solo album, Jizzy rules, bringing that incredible sneering caw of his, and the guy's memorable vocal melodies, to a raft of solid, full-band rock-outs that fall somewhere between hard-as-nails hair metal and anthemic punk (you try it! - he has and he wins). Many, many great songs on here, and the rest is pretty good too. Do You Wanna Get High? is an explosive rocker with so much summery going for it. That chorus, in a just world, would make this song a smash hit. Better Days is also multi-platinum in a parallel universe; it's a wistful ballad fer miles making good use of Jizzy's croon. Feed Your Head is like primal, rudimentary Love/Hate. Best of the bunch are the last two (Jiz, Jiz... why is this record so short?), Morbid Fascination playing a power chord drone to heady infectious result (again - come hear the king of the vocal melody, the song within a song), while Dad offers a poignant lyric over blazing punk metal, again, the chorus slamming it home, much thanks to Jizzy's crack rhythm section of Muddy and Dave Moreno.
Rival - State Of Mind
This Chicago band has roots back to 1990, if you can believe it, but it's only with State Of Mind that the band make their major label debut; in fact, only one album, Modern World precedes this. The sound is a quite thrilling and quite speedy power metal played with a canny ear toward the space between precision and chaos. In other words, Rival know what they're doing, slamming this stuff home with the usual sturdy US ear toward keeping the pure metal stuff heavy and sorta boozy. And speaking of boozy, singer (and bassist) John Johnson's got a strange voice (and predilection for over the top enunciation) that might turn some off. Suggestion: give it a few listens; after awhile you'll be thankful that it ain't the same ol' operatics.
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