released Apr 27th, 2010
from the album - Disco Social
bio from all music
Singer/songwriter Jesse Malin was the face of the glam/hard rock band D Generation for eight years, following the dissolution of Heart Attack, the hardcore punk act he fronted as a teenager in the '80s. They weren't a metal band, but critics quickly dismissed D Generation as Johnny Thunders copycats. Their teased hair and glossy wardrobe were just a part of the act, but substance and song structure were there. As one of New York City's more talented acts of the 1990s, the band released three albums before disbanding in April 1999. Malin, who's a punk with a soft heart, didn't stop writing music. His love for Neil Young, Tom Waits, and Steve Earle affected his work; he spent the next two years working on a fresh, countrified sound.
Ex-Whiskeytown frontman Ryan Adams, who'd been a friend of Malin since the D Generation days, was impressed with Malin's new approach. Adams offered to produce Malin's debut album even though he'd never produced a record. The two headed into Lo-Ho Studios in New York in January 2001 and made an album in just six days. A deal with Artemis soon followed. The Fine Art of Self Destruction appeared in the U.K. in October 2002; first single "Queen of the Underworld" was a moderate hit and the British press quickly hailed Malin's debut as one of the year's best. Stateside fans finally got their hands on The Fine Art of Self Destruction in January 2003. Road dates followed, both in America and the U.K. Malin contributed a version of "Hungry Heart" to the benefit album Light of Day: A Tribute to Bruce Springsteen; he also picked up a nomination for the Shortlist Music Prize. By November he was back in the studio, laying down tracks for Self Destruction's follow-up. The Heat appeared in June 2004, accompanied by a string of tour dates on both sides of the pond.
Malin's third album was recorded in Los Angeles during the summer/fall of 2006, which marked his first time making a record outside of New York (or even above 14th Street) during his career. Featuring guest spots by Bruce Springsteen and Jakob Dylan, among others, Glitter in the Gutter eventually surfaced in March 2007 via Billie Joe Armstrong's Adeline Records label. Malin spent most the year on the road with his backing band, the Heat. That group released Mercury Retrograde in 2008, which was recorded live in New York City. The same year Malin followed up with the One Little Indian release On Your Sleeve, a gusty set of covers that featured imaginative readings of songs by the Bad Brains, the Rolling Stones, Fred Neil, Paul Simon, and others. In 2009 he founded a new band called St. Mark's Social, which released Love It to Life in 2010 on the Side One Dummy label.
album review from all music
For a guy who virtually grew up in a spotlight -- fronting hardcore punk band Heart Attack and glam punk sensations D Generation, and as a solo artist -- Jesse Malin is still out there trying to prove himself. With a new band and ten solid songs, Malin’s Love It to Life sounds world-weary and wise, but still crackling with New York’s rock & roll, live-wire energy. The band recorded with producer Ted Hutt and whoever happened to be hanging out around the Bowery: Ryan Adams is here, Brian Fallon, and former teen star Mandy Moore, among others. Musically, Malin is more literate, disciplined, and even tougher than on previous offerings; his lyrics are more poignant, leaner, and raw; his melodies have muscle and taut hooks. Stinging electric guitars usher in the opener, “Burning the Bowery.” It's near Celtic melody is tempered by layers of high-strung acoustics, a raggedy drum kit, and an in-the-red bassline. Malin lays out a tale of a kid growing up and burning through life at alarming speed; yet no matter how fast his protagonist moves, he always ends up in the same place. “All the Way from Moscow,” is faster, harder. Malin’s voice bursts with alley poetry. He’s close to the bone lyrically and melodically; his dynamic is pure street romance without delusion or false irony as guitars roil around him and drums thunder under his sung lines. “Low Life in a Highrise” is a slower, fingerpopping soul-ish tale of times gone by. The protagonist observes life passing him by and wonders how to find a place in the flow of what he observes. Another beautiful aspect of this record lies in the places Malin comes close to stumbling; he doesn’t try to mask it. (Check some of the lines and guitar parts in “Disco Ghetto.”) "Burn the Bridge” is a street rock anthem from a survivor of the life wars -- he knows that the losses, cuts, and bruises are always worth the gamble. “Black Boombox” is full of fire, romance, and swagger; Bruce Springsteen, Lou Reed, and Mitch Ryder could once write like this -- and perhaps wish they still could. The set ends with “Lonely at Heart,” which contains more bald-faced truth than Malin’s ever let himself reveal before; it's sad, powerful, naked. Love It to Life is Malin at his most vital, writing and singing the best material of his career thus far with a scarred heart and bloody but unbowed attitude and genuine laughter on full display. There isn’t anything left to prove: as a fine straight-up rock & roll poet and songwriter, he's as fine as they come; the only places to go now are wider and deeper.
1 Burning the Bowery Malin 3:35
2 All the Way from Moscow Malin 4:04
3 The Archer Malin 3:41
4 St. Marks Sunset Malin 3:12
5 Lowlife in a High Rise Gentile, Malin 3:39
6 Disco Ghetto Malin 3:44
7 Burn the Bridge Malin 2:55
8 Revelations Malin 4:03
9 Black Boombox Malin 2:03
10 Lonely at Heart Malin 3:54