It’s probably for the best that Glitter and Spit is the debut from London two-piece The Pearl Harts, because weight of expectation is a bitch and could potentially have derailed an incredibly promising career had this been album number two or three. While the pair’s gutsy snarl hits like an atomic truck with Nicolas Cage behind the wheel live, in the studio the songs have a tendency to lose some of their menace, diluted by a mix that seems to favour vocals over guitars. With only two instruments on offer, it can be frustrating and the overriding sensation is often that something is missing (bass? an extra guitar? distortion?), however, and it is a big however, there are two sides to every coin, and the Bert to this Ernie, the Rick to this Morty is that when the girls get going, they really get going. The album itself is also something of a double-sider, with the first half struggling to find its feet, before the back nine (or six as the case may be) shows up, throws down and wriggles its way under your skin and into your skull holes like a noisy parasite. Although much of side one is fairly inconsequential, bluesy Royal Blood-esque stomper The Rush and the delightfully sultry Lost in Time ensure it is not a complete wash-out, the latter bringing to mind a Blood Sugar Sex Magic era Red Hot Chili Peppers ballad sung by Lana Del Rey. Side two, however, fares much better in both consistency and quality, launching with the riff-heavy double-tap of The Chief and Skeleton Made of Diamonds, all snarled vocals and harmonies sweeter than a pixie in a marshmallow, before Hit the Bottle barrels into everyone with the spunk and grit of early L7, adding some much needed urgency to proceedings. This latter-half purple patch continues with the ridiculously catchy Bless You, which comes coddled in waves of lush bass and barely hidden malice, and the gigantic alt-rock chorus worshipping Living’s Done, before things come to a close with the bluesy, stoner funk of Hurt. Hindered by a weak start and damaged by a sense that many of the songs fail to truly explode in the way two-pieces like this should, Glitter and Spit is flawed but oozing potential from every pore, and if the band can harness that raw power and weight that comes so naturally on stage, The Pearl Harts will be unstoppable.
Glitter and Spit is out tomorrow (23 Feb 2018)