Pearl (Wind-up records)
With a cover sporting tattoos a-plenty, Buckcherry Mk. 2 springs immediately to mind. Up-and-coming American rock bands seem to have caught on to the fact that Steve Jones knows how to make rock guitars sound epic. Unfortunately, on this occasion the source material is not as strong as with the Steve produced Buckcherry album.
The opening track 'California' which features Steve on additional guitar, is the strongest track, although the remainder of the album doesn't stray too far from this formula. Attempts to vary the pace of the album (ie 'Bleed' & 'Underground' ) never quite come off as the band have difficulty containing their desire for over-the-top guitar rock.
The group are more than competent at what they do, and in this lies part of the problem. At times tracks such as 'Seven Years' seem to be unnecessarily over-complicated and ultimately not very memorable.
Reservations aside, this isn't a bad album; 'Automatic' and 'Amphetamine Girl' are great rockin' cuts. Steve's production is first class, there are no dreadful tracks, and American Pearl do know how to rock. Unfortunately the X factor that lifted Buckcherry's debut above the pack is missing from American Pearl's material. However, I'm sure fans of the OTT guitar sound championed by American Pearl will lap this album up and love it to death!
Stand-out tracks: California, Automatic, Revelation, Amphetamine Girl.
Review by Phil
All maAll material ©1998/2002 Philjens/www.cookandjones.co.uk