Kicking off with the opening riff of “Bad Day” with its hints of “Nantucket Sleighride” in the guitar, an overdriven sound is delivered. With hints at early Axl Rose in the vocals; this is a real stormer of an opening track. “Goin’ Down” is up next with its nod to early pop/punk with its hook-laden guitar-driven vibe.
I love the guitar intro to “Nobody Loves You”, a bit of a nod to Alice Cooper in the vocals, the track has a great old school crunching vibe going through it. A great intro heralds “You”, it is a more laidback number and it shows off Stevie’s voice perfectly with nice guitar work.
The acoustic opening for “Same Old Story” fools you as the gang open up on this drum-led harder edged Black Stone Cherry meets Axl Rose rocker; it has a real Southern feel and is a favourite off this album.
“Set my Soul on Fire” is another hook-laden track, this one has single release written all over it. It has it all, a catchy tune and lyrics and great vocals. As the rocking guitars kick in for “Can’t Turn Your Back on Blood” you know the bar has now been set as it smacks you in the face; this is the kind of track Axl wishes he was still putting out, possibly my favourite track on the album.
In complete contrast with a sublime piano/guitar intro “Til Something Better Comes Along” is a totally different track to previous ones. This song is a slower arena style ballad with some tasty guitar. This would not look out of place on a Cheap Trick album and would probably be a hit for them.
On his vocal own backed by just a guitar starts off “Mama’s Door” next, before the boys smoothly fill in the sound and fully support Stevie on a track that really shows off his great voice. A cover follows and what a rocking rolling cover, courtesy of Mr Cash in the form of “Folsom Prison Blues”. This is a killer cover with the boys just going for it with Stevie on vocals; really quite outstanding.
Crunching guitars herald the “Hooligan” a crunching rock track with its “I’m a Hooligan” hook and pounding drums, bass and guitar carrying it along nicely.
Closing off this quite impressive debut album we have “Doin’ Okay” with big nods to Zeppelin and Mr Page in its opening acoustic salvo, quite stunning. The vocals on this track remind me of Ugly Kid Joe’s Whitfield Crane, a similar smooth approach. This is a brilliant end to a brilliant debut album.
This is a strong multi-style debut album from Stevie and you can see why he is in Warrior Soul & Jizzy Pearl’s Love/Hate. This is an album that should take him far with the quality of the rock tracks on it. I would advise you to get the album and catch the man live.
Stevie R Pearce and the Hooligans: facebook