Gun Club: Jeffrey Lee Pierce (vocals, slide guitar); Ward Dotson (electric & slide guitars, background vocals); Rob Ritter (bass); Terry Graham (drums).
Additional personnel: Tito Larriva (violin); Chris D., Lois Graham (background vocals).
Producers: Chris D., Tito Larriva.
Engineers: Pat Burnette, Noah Shark.
One of the truly original releases in the punk rock canon, the Gun Club's FIRE OF LOVE birthed cow punk in one furious blast. Combining the rave-up tempos and brevity of the Ramones with twisted rootsy affectations, FIRE OF LOVE still sounds remarkably fierce. The album introduced the world to the colossally talented Jeffrey Lee Pierce, a singer who spiked devil-haunted country blues with the sneering posturing of Richard Hell. Possessing a better vocal range than the average punk rocker, Pierce hitched a feral soul to uncompromising lyrical poetics in songs such as "Sex Beat" and "She's Like Heroin To Me"--the latter extolling a lover with the claim "she cannot miss a vein."
Guitarist Ward Dotson--who had just replaced future Cramp Kid Congo Powers prior to the album's recording--goes toe-to-toe with Pierce, unleashing a fiery panoply of rockabilly and slide guitar riffs while the rhythm section of Rob Ritter and Terry Graham keeps the tension levels near Defcon 5. Produced by the Flesheaters frontman Chris D., FIRE OF LOVE stands with Black Flag's DAMAGED and X's LOS ANGELES as one the certifiable classics of L.A. punk.
Spin (p.95) - "[M]ixing titanic punk hostility with country, blues, even rockabilly....Proof that digging into your Americana roots can make you sound even harder."
Uncut (p.122) - 4 stars out of 5 - "A dark and dangerous stew of roughly hammered blues, gothic country, souped-up rockabilly and jazzy punk."