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Love-Hate: Crucified
Hard Rock
January 13th, 2014
Release length: 22:19
When it comes to band names, no name screams the eighties rock scene more than Love/Hate. It’s one of those monickers you sit back and go “I swear I’ve come across the band but I’ll be damned if I can remember ever hearing them.” They had five major singles in the early nineties. “Blackout in the Red Room,” “She’s an Angel,” and “Why Do You Think They Call it Dope?” were issued in 1990, “Evil Twin” in 1991, and “Wasted in America” in 1992. No, none of those really ring a bell, though given my mother’s love for Rock ‘n’ Roll from the seventies to early nineties, I probably heard one of these at some point and just forget. But, upon digging a little deeper, it hit me that they also contributed the song “Angel” to the A Nightmare on Elm Street 4 soundtrack.

That is where I first heard them, and the only time I ever heard their work. While I grew up being force fed (and often enjoying) the Rock, Hard Rock, and Glam Rock sounds of the eighties to nineties, it’s just not in my wheelhouse. After hearing this brand new EP, I can safely say it wouldn’t have intrigued me back in the day either.

“Hanging You Out to Dry” has some catchy music with some two-step going on that I ate up as soon as it kicked in. Very eighties, even MTV worthy music. But then the limited range of Jizzy Pearl kicked in, and I found myself struggling to enjoy it, especially when the song takes on an eccentric touch that feels incredibly out of place. “Love is All” shows much more range from Jizzy as a singer, while the music seems to take on more of a Pearl Jam or Alice in Chains feel, the latter of which makes up a good chunk of the non-era specific stereotypes that pop up like the very eighties “Too Late,” a softer track that pushes a little more emotion through the Blues-filled guitar work and and restrainer, cleaner singer that greatly suit the tone of the performance, though get a little mundane around the chorus.

There’s the traditional slower eighties pieces. “Sunny Day” wasn’t bad, but it didn’t show any additional range in the vocals in the main verses. The chorus was alright for the most part though. “I Don’t Want To Be Your Baby” starts with that acoustic Glam Rock ballad approach akin to “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” by Poison, but gradually shifts into more of a Guns ‘n Roses ballad piece. The addition of an organ to the background does help give it a bit of a seventies vibe, but overall still has a rougher exterior that tries to show a rougher exterior to the obviously more sensitive male side of things. Finally there’s the blatently nineties whiny angsty song that fuses Punk and Rock together in such an awkwardly mainstream manner.

As someone largely unfamiliar with this group, the music for Crucified was really impressive most of the time. “Too Late” is a remarkable song that puts some genuine emotion on display you can feel from everyone involved. The rest of the EP is largely locked in the generations it came from, offering little more than rehashing a sound that was largely generic and mainstream shortly after it started. All the best riffs on this release you’ve heard time and time again, and the restricted range of Jizzy Pearl only seems to hurt the often catchy music being performed.

As someone who grew up with bands like Bob Segar, Aerosmith, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, Poison, Twisted Sister, Great White, even the largely unknown Isle of Q among many others, this clearly is not the band or EP for me. While all of these bands made it big in those two eras, even they didn’t sound one hundred percent eighties or nineties like Love/Hate does here on this one twenty-two minute release. But, hey, if that’s your thing, then by all means go for it! I, on the other hand, will just rock myself to sleep with some W.A.S.P. instead, thank you very much.

01. Hanging You Out to Dry – 2:11
02. Sunny Day – 4:17
03. You’re Making Me Nervous – 2:46
04. I Don’t Want to Be Your Baby – 4:14
05. Love is All – 4:26
06. Too Late – 4:25


Digital review copy of this release provided by Stampede Press UK.