Monday, 6 April 2015

JUSTIN LOVE : Rockola



Cratedigging is one of the finest ways to stumble upon new or old artists. Out of all of those, how many deserve a life-changing label? The one and only Ian Svenonius of The Make Up and Chain & The Gang wrote the most enticing review ever seen on a sticker. Put in a nutshell : “Congratulations, rocker : You’ve found it - Justin Love, lost treasure of early 80s New York, the perfect blend of Modern Lovers’ romance rock, Johnny Thunders ‘ deconstructed raunch’n’roll and some deranged paisley-pop from an unknown planet.
The instructions for use are simple: invite your closest friend(s) over, lock the door and tell them you have a big secret. Then, put on this record and get them in-the-know about the lost jungle beat of Justin Love, the best kept secret in rock’n’roll !!”


An undiscovered gem, Rockola is the NYC songwriter’s second record first released in 1984, an album that feels nocturnal, dreamy and yet lustful and bold. You can take the artist out of NYC but you can’t take NYC out of the artist.  
He rocks out but he may be more of an acquired taste to some, he’s a style magpie. His music is impossible to define into one genre, which would be reductive.
At first, his songs possess the primitive and sexy feel of Richard Hell & The Voidoids but he’s more refined than that. “I’m a poet with my six-gun!”, claims this outlaw whose “heart beats like thunder”. 
His guitars strums are a weapon of choice. Justin Love aka Justin Trouble's vocals are captivating and intriguing, a kind of crooning that complements his sonic gun, along with his sassy lyrics.
His tunes sound melodic whilst having an edge to them and he’s constantly fluctuating between his dark and bright sides, combining raw purity and artful sophistication. He has cunning ways to get under your skin. 
Chances are you will have an epiphany. Justin Love, your partner in crime in late night soundtracks.  


Rockola was reissued on Mono-Tone Records in March 2015.