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Fire of Love

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iTunes Review

L.A.'s Jeffrey Lee Pierce will never be confused with most modern day blues-rock practitioners. His music never featured the standard blues riffs or structures, but possessed the same chilling, lonesome feeling, that same desperate drive to transcend life's sorrows. Fire of Love is an appropriately haphazard recorded collection of spirited wailings from a man for whom music was pure catharsis (Pierce passed away in 1996 from a brain hemorrhage). "Sex Beat" begins things with a powerful country shuffle and Pierce's untutored wail. "Preaching the Blues" twists the blues tradition into the punk gutter. "Promise Me" reverberates with a slow, haunted psychedelic drip. "She's Like Heroin to Me" exposes the band's dark underbelly, an opiate-derived insanity where Pierce clashes against Ward Dotson's reckless slide guitars. These loose, rambling recordings sound particularly alien in modern times where record productions are often calibrated to perfect machine-like rhythms. The Gun Club's releases are a glorious mess, slipping in and out of the groove, led not by melodic or rhythmic invention, but by a lead singer who's seeing ghosts in his waking life.

Customer Reviews


It's a near crime that iTunes is selling this particular recording - this has to be one of the poorest sounding mp3's I've ever heard. A blues/punk band is completely robbed of its sound and the whole thing sounds 'tinny.' I have this on cassette and it sounds so much better. I wanted to try to get my money back, but, of course, it's impossible to find a live person in support.

finest hour

a high-water mark of U.S. punk rock and indeed, considering the synthesis going on here, rock and roll itself. the gun club was left out of the husker du/replacements/minor threat hagiography that went on in the aftermath of nirvana but for my money this is the best album that era produced. it deeply troubled me, created megawatts of bad energy and could be an exhibit in a debate about racism. but for about three years in mid-eighties jeffrey pierce was the brutalist rocker alive, and this record makes pretty much everything else that went on in the eighties (and certainly the nineties) seem restrained.

A fantastic album

It's one thing for a band to take their favorite albums, mix them up, and create a record that sounds like them, it's another to take the influences and make them into something new. Pierce takes the raw ingredients and crafts them into something completely fresh that has inspired the White Stripes, Wilco, and many others. The songs are very powerful and the playing is inspired. The sound has been imitated for 20 years now, but nothing approaches the original.


Formed: 1980 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s

Tribal psychobilly blues is the best way to describe the Gun Club's energetic death rock, but the band's career seemed doomed from the get-go due to leader Jeffrey Lee Pierce's reputation as an unreliable wildman, and well-publicized bouts of drunkenness dogged him throughout his career. Formed in Los Angeles in the early '80s, the band was vaguely aligned with similarly roots-inspired groups like X and the Blasters, but later picked up and relocated to the Lower East Side, resting more comfortably...
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