Overall Score: 5.5/10 Riffs: 7/10 Vocals: 5/10 Consistency: 4/10 Pros: Some great riffs | When they get it right, they're very good Cons: Often jarring vocals | Enormously variable song quality
The Pearl Harts are a latest in the long line of British two piece acts that have emerged since the titanic rise of Royal Blood. Formed of lead singer / guitarist Kirsty and drummer / singer Sara, their debut full length album Glitter and Spit sees them stepping up to a full length release for the first time since their formation in 2014. They’ve built up a dedicated fan base, as their crowdfunding campaign for the album ended up at a whopping 260%, a tremendous achievement for a band on their first full album. But is it any good?
From the onset, you can tell that Kirsty is someone who knows her way around a riff. There are a wide range of influences that can be felt throughout, from the Sabbath-esque tones on opener Black Blood to the much grungier The Chief which evokes thoughts of the likes of Garbage or The Distillers. For all the impressive riff work on offer, the early tracks on Glitter and Spit lack much else to make them noteworthy. The low point is the album’s lead single Lara, which is thoroughly cringeworthy, sitting vocally somewhere between the new Marmozets album and “Oh Mickie” by Tony Basil. The slightly industrial sounding Go Hard is another track that may well have listeners reaching for the skip button – it’s an attempt to expand their sound given the band’s limited numbers but it just doesn’t work.
In the words of “good ol’ JR”, Jim Ross, business picks up considerably when The Pearl Harts switch to a much softer approach on the low end driven Lost In Time. Kirsty and Sara’s voices compliment each other here rather than feeling like they’re in competition with each other. The aforementioned The Chief is another enjoyable track, packing more oomph than much of the previous material on offer and the main riff is a true earworm. Hit The Bottle sees The Pearl Harts ramp up the punk approach, which works very well on a track that is short, sharp and doesn’t outstay it’s welcome. What passes by between this point and the album closing Hurt is unfortunately again completely forgettable, but there are some nice guitar licks on show throughout Hurt along with a very enjoyable solo.
The impression that The Pearl Harts give off with Glitter and Spit is that there is potentially a very good band in here waiting to be unleashed. They show flashes of it, particularly in the mid section of the album, but they’re just not quite there yet. Maybe next time.
Glitter and Spit is released today (23rd February 2018) as a self-release.