Sunday 19 February 2017

Album Review: STEPHEN PEARCY - Smash

Stephen Pearcy - Smash

1. I Know I'm Crazy
2. Ten Miles Wide
3. Shut Down Baby
4. Dead Roses
5. Lollipop
6. Hit Me With A Bullet
7. Rain
8. Want Too Much
9. What Do Ya Think
10. Jamie
11. I Can't Take It (2017)
12. Passion Infinity
13. Summer's End

For those of you unfamiliar with Stephen Pearcy, he's the lead singer of Ratt, and as I've been a fan for many years  I was really keen to check out his new album. If you follow Ratt, you will no doubt be aware of the legal battle that has been going on between drummer Bobby Blotzer and the other members (inc Pearcy) for the name Ratt. After mountains of online drama, a judge ruled in favour of Pearcy and co, and now the re-united Stephen Pearcy, Warren DeMartini and Juan Croucier are back together as Ratt with a promise of live shows and a new studio album. The judgement was made shortly before Smash was released, giving Ratt a lot of press, and no doubt this solo album lots of attention it may not have otherwise had. There's a huge global hype for a new Ratt album, but Smash will have to tide fans over in the meantime.

Smash is a straight up Hard Rock album. There aren't any huge surprises here which for most fans is a good thing. It does what it says on the tin. Naturally it sounds a lot like Ratt because Hard Rock with Stephen's unique voice always will to some degree. However, Stephen draws on a variety of influences to make it a bit more of a diverse record than expected. For example, Shut Down Baby has a bluesy swagger that's reminiscent of early Aerosmith, Dead Roses is a more aggressive stomping track that, in places, brings to mind Skid Row's Piece Of Me, and both What Do Ya Think and Summer's End have a distinctly Led Zeppelin vibe about them.

For me, Ten Miles Wide, Jamie and the 2017 re-recording of I Can't Take it are easily the best three songs on here.

Smash isn't as strong as the last Ratt album Infestation, or most of the back catalogue if I'm brutally honest. It is still good in its own right and has enough catchy tunes on there to warrant picking it up. It certainly wets the appetite for the forthcoming Ratt album.


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