Review: Hannah Collins
– Little Immaculate White Fox
|If you dig classic rock, and idolise the genre’s greats, you’ll find this album utterly intriguing.
Pearl Aday‘s first solo production brings with it over two decades of influence from some of rocks finest performers. She’s toured with Motley Crue, Meat Loaf, featured with Filter, hung out with Slash and jammed with Jerry Cantrell. Immaculate Little white Fox is full of grungy riffs, classic rock solos, and intricate lyricism. The shifting track listing rolls like waves and is neither stagnant nor boring. Pearls vocal ability, has been rounded and refined over the years, as she’s moved from stage hand to backup singer and finally found her place, as a stage front performer, bringing all her experience together, in her first singular application.
Opening track, “Rock Child”, brings with the name, a welcome introduction to the album and it’s style. Simple timing, easy drumming, and some strategically placed riffs, provide a perfect foundation for Pearls crisp and catchy lyrics. Lyrics, that carry it all the way through to an early 90’s style guitar solo in the latter half of the song whilst Pearl leads the outro with a elongated scream. I was silently impressed when I heard the first piece, only to realise, that the next song on the album is actually a replication of Tina Turners’ “Nutbush City Limits”… which…. although not executed as well as once was by Miss Mad Max herself… concludes that this lady loves her classics.
The next few tracks, although diverse enough in their own right, do exude an element of repetitiveness. Maybe it’s the timing, or the notably constant and never changing song structure consisting of intro, vocal overlay, grunge riff, chorus, repeat, solo, outro. But it is catchy and Pearls sound is undeniably raw… “Broken White” and “Check out Charlie” display Pearls ability to take life experience and turn it into a well fabricated poetical puzzle. The first few bars of “Check out Charlie” contain one of the better riffs on the album and if you didn’t pick it by the name.. “Check out Charlie” seems to centre on I.V drug use. Read the album footnotes, you might also find mention of an ambulance ride….
Unfortunately for anyone who’s beginning to like the album at this point, the ‘rock n roll’ vibe that hooks you in the first 15 odd minutes is lost during track six, ”My heart isn’t in it”; starting out with a feel much more abiding to country than rock. It’s a soulful southern ballad, and the way Pearl rounds her vowels, letting slide the occasional “Ooooh” “Ahhh” doesn’t really do the song, or its position on the album justice, yet again Pearls vocal competence carriers the song, sitting it down in the archive, somewhere between Hunters and Collectors, and Taylor Swift. It is itself, well written, but unlike most other songs on this production, in this case it’s lyrically empty; pertaining more so to an introverts idea of a broken hearts or love that never was. In which no one really knows who or what’s being sung about.
Verging into “Nobody”, the tempo increases, only to falter again during the next ensemble, “Worth defending”, again drawing from an unknown, uncanny country influence. “Anything”, featuring Jerry Cantrell , get’s you back into the swing as the page is turned.
One person you wouldn’t expect to find appear on an album of this nature is Scott Ian, Anthrax main man, crushing thrash guitarist and an icon in his genre. Funny that, he’s actually Pearls husband and has contributed heavily to the music behinds Pearls lyrics, as well as being given the biggest acknowledgement in the albums credits. While Pearl is almost solely responsible for the lyrics, the bulk of music written for “Immaculate Little White Fox” was not done its claimant. Fair distinction is given to Scott Ian, Ted Nugent, Marcus Blake, Jim Wilson, (the latter two, and members of Mother Superior and associates of Henry Rollins, whom wrote track 10, “Whore” in its entirety.)
For an artist’s first record, Immaculate Little White Fox ticks all the right boxes but I can’t help but be a little disappointed. Writing poetry is relatively simple, but creating your own sound via various outlets of instrumental expression is something Pearl has here, failed to achieve. She’s without a doubt, a seasoned singer with a beautiful full and powerful voice, but without the contributions of those listed above, there would be no album. To take collaborative works consisting of all the great artists mentioned within this article, have them play outside their comfort zones then stamp your name on an album promoting it entirely as a solo work doesn’t sit well in my pantry. Yet, “Immaculate Little White Fox” is produced extremely well, and is genuinely a culmination of a lifetime spent in the music industry.
– Little Immaculate White Fox – Pearl