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Worst Music Video Ever of the Week: Blackout in the Red Room

March 19, 2009

Try to imagine this: you’re a dad, and your daughter brings home her new boyfriend, and he looks like these guys.

This is a better song than this cheesy video gives it credit for. I don’t know why Love/Hate went with this cliched 80s pile of shirtless hair-metal crud when the music itself was something else. Ah, well. It was 1990, and the music industry knew change was in the wind, so some corners must have been cut.

Why did Love/Hate never really hit it big? I’ve always wondered this. They came along right at the transition point from L.A. makeup metal to Seattle flannel grunge, and actually straddled that divide in a limited way. Decent, if not overly original, guitars, a suitably scruffy look, and one of the best metal screechers of all time: Jizzy Pearl. Yes, his name is Jizzy Pearl. Well, his name is Jim Wilkinson, but hey, that’s about as hard-rockin’ a name as Jimmy Osterberg, right?

To be honest, I haven’t heard much of their music beyond this song. I bought the Blackout in the Red Room album when it came out — probably on cassette — but I don’t know what happened to it, and I haven’t thought about it in years. I just happened upon this video and it took me back in time for a brief, stupid moment.

The band had a couple of minor hits, then broke up, at which point Jizzy became the lead singer of Ratt — I know, you thought they’d died years ago, right? — before reforming Love/Hate with a rotating membership and touring sporadically. He was also in L.A. Guns briefly, because every rocker who’s ever been to California has been in L.A. Guns. He also contributed the title track to Fire Woman: A Tribute to the Cult, a pretty decent CD that gets played fairly often on my iTunes.

As things stand now, the band is back together, with its original lineup — guitarist Jon E. Love, bassist Skid Rose and drummer Joey Gold — and touring. Everything old is new again, right? And everything shrill and loud is shrill and loud again.

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