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Love/Hate - 'Blackout In The Red Room' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/9a/2a/8a/love-hate-blackout-in-the-red-room-35-1523819070.jpg

Added by Central Electronic Brain     April 15, 2018    
 
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Love/Hate's USP was to blend the dynamics of Hair Metal with Punk energy.

While the Hair Metal glory days of the mid-eighties gifted us some of the finest anthems of all time, the scene's coattail riders – emerging between 1988 and 1990 – offered nothing more than a diluted facsimile of what had gone before on their predictably uniform, one-decent-song albums. The emergent Seattle Alternative scene, though successful in washing away the aforementioned dross, offered little consolation to fans of the kind of music that made you glad to be alive rather than Grungy dirges that bemoaned life's unfairness.

Love/Hate's USP was to blend the dynamics of Hair Metal with Punk energy and deliver it with a rawness that personified the early releases by Mötley Crüe and Guns 'N' Roses. 'Blackout In The Red Room' and its title track never ceases to thrill as guitarist Jon E. Love's urgent, spiralling lick – unusually it debuts after the first chorus – trades hooks with Jizzy Pearl's scotch-soaked sandpaper vocals. Tom Werman's robust production ensures there's plenty of bottom end ballast courtesy of Skid Rose and Joey Gold on bass and drums respectively.

'Why Do You Think They Call It Dope?' rivals the aforementioned opener in the highlight stakes due to an irresistible combination of Rose's tasty slap-bass playing, Love's shimmering riff and a chorus that claims squatter's rights once it's occupied your ear canal. 'Tumbleweed' has shades of eighties GNR about it thanks to its Sleazy, edgy vibe, complete with Duff McKagan style bass-runs and prominent cowbell, while 'Straightjacket' sees L/H really cutting loose – imagine Van Halen and ZZ Top jamming in
a sawdust-strewn dive-bar, circa 1979...

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The partying takes a momentary break for 'She's An Angel'. A bold exploration of self-harm, Rose's lyrics are bleak in isolation but the delivery's up-tempo and, intriguingly, the number reveals Pearl's voice to have shades of Alice Cooper when it's (admittedly rarely) dialled back from full-throttle.

The trio of bonus tracks added to this re-master are 'Tinseltown' (originally the B-side of the title-track's single release) alongside a pair of live tracks; truthfully they bring little to the package, though it's good to see the label offering some added content alongside the fine sonic spruce-up.

Anyone who caught Love/Hate's live shows will recall their huge cross made from (empty) Budweiser cans – something that I vehemently objected to as it sent out entirely the wrong message. I mean, c'mon, surely they could have chosen a decent beer to go with the high class music?

Caesar Barton

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