Picks and Pans Review: Up Your Alley

updated 05/30/1988 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/30/1988 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts

As usual, little Joanie shows she can teach the boys in the hard rock division a thing or two about take-no-prisoners music. This record is full of Jett-powered all-terrain rock. It sounds like what Slade would turn out if they didn't always seem to have stopped at the pub for three hours on the way to the recording studio—oh yeah, and if they had a snarling female lead singer. Up Your Alley features some of Jett's finest material to date, such as I Hate Myself for Loving You and the punky I Wanna Be Your Dog. It is her uncompromising heavy-handedness that defines Jett. There's never any easing up with her, even if grim ferocity isn't something most people like as a steady diet. Actually there are a couple of slightly ameliorative melodies deep on the second side of Up Your Alley, but by then most listeners may be too bruised to appreciate them. Once again Jett unleashes her junkyard-dog rock and roll. Lord knows, it ain't pretty, but it sure can bite and hold on for dear life. (CBS Associated/Blackheart)

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