Review: Love/Hate – Before The Blackout

AorBlvd Records  (Oct 2016)

Reviewer: Peter Scallan

Love/Hate were one of those bands that appeared in the early 90s and gathered critical acclaim for their albums. Despite the heavy MTV rotation they failed to translate the critical acclaim into sales and were subsequently dropped by Columbia. They did carry on and have done six albums in total, although I am only familiar with the first three albums, which I loved. This collection as the name indicates is material recorded before the debut album of Blackout in the Redroom. These are mainly demos recorded in 1986-87.

First up is ‘Date With Fate‘ which sounds nothing like Love/Hate especially with regards Jizzy Pearl’s vocals, which take on Ian Astbury goth feel! In fact The Cult comparison also holds for the song sounding like it could be on Love and is not the most inspiring start to an album. ‘Extreme‘ opens up sounding even more like The Cult although the Jizzy voice I knew and loved starts to emerge. Next up is one of the songs that made it on to the second album Wasted in America. We are treated to an insight into how this song started as ‘Tranquiliser‘ emerges in a goth rock version. I loved this song on Wasted in America and it really rocks in its final version. ‘I’ve Got To Dream‘ falls back into the goth rock mode and for me sounds like it could be any one of a number of 80s UK bands such as The Sisters of Mercy – although not as good! In fact, its woeful! The subsequent song ‘Good Ship Dolly Rock‘ is still gothic but from this songs you can see the emergence of the sound that eventually got signed. Laden with keyboards, yeah that’s right – keyboards, it plods along a little uninspired. ‘Reincarnated‘ returns to the familiar Cult sound of the earlier songs and that UK 80s goth vocal style. Thankfully, it lasts less than three minutes.

‘Skid Row Gypsy‘ is the start of the material which is more recognisably Love/Hate. It’s a slow moving number with a mix of acoustic and electric guitars and Jizzy starting to sound like Jizzy! However, in the next number ‘Recognised, Jizzy sounds like he is impersonating Dick Van Dyke in places with his dodgy cockney accent. It also steps back to a more gothic sound but is relatively interesting, dance-style track with the funky bass and drums. Next we do get to here the real early Love/Hate with ‘Soul House‘ which is a bluesy rocker with Jizzy raising the stakes with the vocals at last. The emergence continues with ‘The Outside‘ with the funky bass and heavy guitar, although it does have some keyboards. In fact the keyboards make it sound a little Judas Priest a la Turbo. ‘Gypsy Love‘ sounds like it could have been a demo for Blackout in the Redroom although a little tame compared with the Ferociousness of that album. The next song ‘My Girl‘ has some great keyboards but the song sounds like it was written as a single and is pretty cool – in fact it sounds a little like Loverboy and consequently nothing like Love/Hate. We then are treated to the embryonic classic Love/Hate sound in ‘Love Burns‘. Musically and lyrically this is classic Love/Hate and starts and rocks along on a funky rhythm before changing into a driving chorus rhythm. We then have ‘Angel‘ which a demo of the track She’s An Angel from the Blackout album. Apart from the intro the song structurally is similar to that which eventually appeared on the album. The closing song is a classic Love/Hate number namely ‘Why Do You Think They Call It Dope?‘ With keyboards! Again it sticks structurally to the arrangement from the Blackout album and I quite like the keyboard parts. It isn’t quite as ferocious as the album version but good none the less.

What do I think of this album then, do I hear you say? Well there is some really interesting stuff on here mixed with some real duffers. But in its defence, these kinds of albums are not trying to go platinum but trying to provide a historical perspective on a given artist’s development. In that respect it fills the brief perfectly and therefore will appeal to real hard core Love/Hate fans. However, if you buy expecting a Blackout-style prequel, you will be sorely disappointed!


With only 18 rooms left on an even bigger site, HRH AOR, now in its 5th cycle are pleased to announce its first round of bands as demanded by its fans.

Leading the charge are some rare and much anticipated performances by the Queen of Rock n Roll herself, Lita Ford, the incredible talents of Finnish Sleaze Lord, Michael Monroe, plus Melodic Riff Machines, Autograph, Bang Tango and the multi million record selling outfit, Slaughter who have not been in the UK since 1992.

or Melodic Rock Fans, HRH AOR 5  will be an epoch of Melodic Rock which will also feature sister brands on separate arenas, HRH Sleaze & HRH Glam.

Other bands performing include the Legendary Quireboys, GUN, Love/Hate, Mike Tramp, Bonafide, Romeos Daughter, Chase the Ace,  Vega, Psycho Kiss & Dante Fox.

With another 20 plus bands to come, HRH AOR 5 will be the pinnacle event for Melodic Rock enthusiasts.

With only 18 rooms left, you’ll have to move quickly to make sure you reserve your AOR Throne for cycle 5.

HRH AOR 5 takes place at Camp HRH, Pwllheli, North Wales between 9th – 12th  March 2017 and tickets can be booked online at or by ringing Fleur very quickly on 0203 287 6684

Current line so far is

Lita Ford

Michael Monroe




Bang Tango



Mike Tramp


Romeos Daughter


Chase the Ace

Psycho a Kiss

Dante Fox

Plus more to be announced shortly



25th Anniversary

In 1990 Columbia Records released the debut album by Love/Hate ‘Blackout In The Red Room’ and although singer Jizzy Pearl has stayed busy touring and making albums with such platinum artists as L.A. Guns, Ratt and most recently Quiet Riot – ‘Blackout in the Red Room’ was the starting point, the beginning, the bar to which all else has been measured. 

This record – voted “Album Of The Year” by Kerrang! and Metal Hammer magazines – would not have been possible but for the exceptional loyalty of the band’s UK fans, they were there when the world was young and they are still there 25 years later. 

Now it’s 2015 and once again Jizzy Pearl returns to the UK for 5 exclusive concerts, this time celebrating 25 years of Love/Hate music by playing the Blackout in the Red Room album in its entirety, with other Love/Hate fan favourites, along with a select group of top notch musicians.
The Voice, The Songs & The Fans all come together this November:
4th – EDINBURGH – Bannermans



British Rock legends UFO are set to headline next spring’s HRH AOR 2 March 22nd.

The band released their 20th studio album ‘Seven Deadly’ last year to global acclaim and will headline the billing on the Saturday night. The current incarnation of the band includes founding members Phil Mogg (vocals), Andy Parker (drums), keyboard player Paul Raymond and guitarist Vinnie Moore and are a live force to be reckoned with.

Next Spring’s event takes place at Haven Hafan y Môr Holiday Park, Pwllheli, Gwynedd, North Wales on March 20th -23rd.


For more information and tickets go to
Line-up announced so far below.
Graham Bonnet
Robin Beck
House of Lords
Kee Marcello
Pink Cream 69
La Paz
No Hot Ashes
Chasing Violets Featuring Frédéric Slama from AOR
Dante Fox
White Widdow
Hell To Pay
East of Eden
The Kix
Screaming Eagles