A couple of weeks back, I was stopped at traffic lights in my car, headphones jammed in ( the radio is busted), listening to the opening song from Pearler’s debut mini album. I was howling along- “YOU MIGHT BE FORTIFIED JUST LIKE MY FAVOURITE WINE, OOH-OH OOH THAT’S THE WAAAAY, I LOVE IT, WE LOVE IT ”.
Oblivious to the world around me, I soon became aware of a woman approaching my open window. I pulled out a headphone to hear her say, “ Oh, sorry, I thought you were shouting at me, sorry.” She thought I’d been shrieking “ YOU MIGHT BE FORTY FIVE…”
It was quite the ice breaker. The point is, the track was good enough to listen and scream along to even though the radio was fucked.
Once in a while, a you come across a band that reignites your love of rock n’ roll, grabbing you by the throat with one hand, a bottle of filthy whisky in the other, and politely tells you with a big old smile, “ Settle in, you’re gonna have a fucking great night”.
In 2018, that band for me has been Pearler.
Following on from “Belter”’s first blistering track “Fortified”, “Eyes Crows Feet” sums up much there is to hate about modern life in it’s first lyrics , before contributing some of the heaviest and catchiest grinding guitar work of the whole mini album, with a searing riff by lead guitarist Evs kicking in at just under three minutes.
“W.O.R.Z.E.L Chuggage” is perhaps Belter’s standout track, being the heaviest of them all, with a beautiful calm punctuated by rumbling bass guitar at just over two minutes, before the track kicks back into gear at a level that should bring alive any live venue.
The album’s fourth song, “Radical Eyes” has a lot to live up to following the beautiful onslaught of “W.O.R.Z.E.L. Chuggage”, but manages well thanks to stunning guitar and vocal work, rounded off with 25 seconds of roaring coordinated riffs and thundering drums.
And then comes “The Gusher”. Perhaps the most singable chorus of them all, this one brings to mind those painful booze addled memories of long forgotten ladies of the night and mixed emotions, in the spirit of such songs as AC/DC’s “Whole Lotta Rosie”- only darker, and heavier.
Finishing up the listening experience is the equally strong “Money Gains”, leaving you with a satisfied, unified and well rounded collection of songs. There simply isn’t a weak track.
Pearler are the rare example of a band performing consistently today that plays and lives rock ’n’ roll this heavy, and HAS FUN WHILE THEY DO IT. It’s not glam. There are no ballads (yet). It’s a rare treat to find a band that keeps alive the best of bands like Guns N Roses and Motley Crue, but much, much heavier. Combining the occasional hint of southern rock with a down to earth attitude and work ethic akin to AC/DC’s earliest days of touring Australia’s dustiest, most remote towns, you realise the band are simply here to have a good night. And that attitude is very, very infectious.
Maybe that mindset comes from the fact that this is a bunch of Swansea boys. But Pearler are too good to be limited to South Wales alone. I want to see them blow up and tear apart UK venues. I want to see what the filthy excesses of Sunset Strip does to them. They’re good enough to be up there playing to festival crowds. But ultimately, I want them to come back home and do what they do best. Have a Belter of a night.
- James Iles