CD REVIEWS ISSUE 12 Page 6
By Bob Nalbandian
Vegas Must Die
Jizzy Pearl is best known as the voice of Love/Hate, one of the better of the Sunset Strip bands of the early '90s. Their 1990 debut Blackout In The Red Room won critical praise and was hyped by both media and industry insiders to become the next Appetite For Destruction, but it obviously fell way short of that. Not to say that it wasn't a great record, but it just didn't have that mass appeal, not to mention it came out about 3 years too late for that sound. Jizzy went on to front other post hey-day Sunset Strip die-hards like LA Guns, Ratt, and former G'n'R drummer Steven Adler's Appetite (Jizzy, for a very brief period, fronted G&R prior to Axl Rose joining) but he never received the success nor recognition he rightfully deserved. Jizzy still tours with (what's left of) Ratt and continuously writes music. He's even published a couple books, in fact; I've read his 1999 book I Got More Crickets Than Friends that really got me into his demented mindset. Vegas Must Die is Jizzy's third solo effort for Shrapnel, an unlikely artist for the guitar-bent label, the CD features the typical sleaze-fueled Hollywood gutter-rock you would expect from Jizzy, demonstrated on "Hit And Miss," "Ball And Gag," and the ball-buster "Lies". But Jizz also shows his diverse songwriting ability on tracks like the gritty, bluesy number "Only Wait So Long" which shows traces of the great Aussie rockers Rose Tattoo and the country-tinged "How'd I Get So Lonely" which shows strong influence from Bob Segar and early Rod Stewart. Other tracks such as "Just Look At You Now" brings one back to great '70s era rock with Jizzy's vocals sounding reminiscent to the hugely underrated Alex Harvey (who greatly influenced Bon Scott's early vocal style) while "You Don't Own Me" sounds like a direct rip-off from Led Zeppelin III. Jizzy's band also performs well throughout; particularly (ex-Salty Dog) guitarist Pete Reveen who spews out some tasty blues licks. The slick production from former Great White guitarist Michael Lardie also deserves a mention. All in all, a solid solo effort worth purchasing. It's good to hear Jizzy has still got it.
END OF LEVEL BOSS
Exile on Mainstream Records
I never heard of this band until I received their debut CD in the mail. Skeptical as always, looking at the cover I figured it would be your typical death-metal CD but damn...was I in for a surprise! As I listen to the stellar opening track, "Freak Waves, " I think to myself, 'this band sounds like old Trouble meets Hangnail.' After I finally came across the band bio, I realize this UK based band was formed by former Hangnail guitarist/vocalist Heck Armstrong...makes perfect sense. This man has an incredible voice for metal reminding me of early Soundgarden (back when Chris Cornell still had his balls intact). The following track "Disjointed" displays an industrial metal-tinge very reminiscent to early Voi Vod. The other tracks follow in similar fashion with Armstrong belting out haunting yowls and, along with guitarist James Ogawa (also from Hangnail), dishing out some of the darkest and heaviest guitar riffs that would put Jerry Cantrell to shame. Standouts include the ultra-heavy "Hedonophobia" and "Step The Mind Gap." In fact, all eight tracks on this CD are brilliant. Although the production is a bit muddy is places, Prologue is a near-flawless industrial gloom-metal masterpiece. One thing is certain; you can expect big things from End Of Level Boss in the future.
Shockwaves CD REVIEWS ISSUE 12 Page 7