The 1980’s on the Sunset Strip was a magical time in music and one that would change the face of the industry forever. A sonically charged atomic bomb adorned with scantily clad girls; booze, hardcore drugs and long haired misfits smelling of Aqua Net and banging on loud instruments. One of the bands from The Strip that burned the brightest was RATT. With more than a few hits under their belt Stephen Pearcy became an iconic frontman. His good looks and instantly identifiable voice were a big part of what made that band great. As the recently reunited RATT plans to attack the road (with Pearcy at the helm along with classic members Warren DiMartini and Juan Croucier) Stephen is set to unleash his most recent solo album Smash, on January 27 via Frontiers Music.
His fourth solo album SMASH is a collection of 13 tracks and is a pretty impressive album front to back. Pearcy has assembled some fine musicians to play with him on this one. Erik Ferentinos and Chris Hager split the guitar duties, Greg D’ Angelo hammers the skins and Matt Thorn locks it down with the bass, as well as mixing and mastering the album with Stephen.
Starting the record off is a track called “I Know I’m Crazy”. Honestly, Pearcy could have chosen a better opening song to pique the listener’s interest. This song gives the impression that this album is going to be a hard sell. I wasn’t looking forward to track two, and quite frankly wanted to cleanse my palate with a classic RATT tune. However, after this initial hiccup the quality of the songs increased dramatically.
The second tune entitled “Ten Miles Wide” is the first single off the record and has a very polished 80’s feel. It’s catchy chorus gets stuck in my head and was the perfect selection to give fans a taste of the album. This feels like old material, which is exactly what you want from an iconic period frontman like Pearcy.
“Shut Down Baby” is unquestionably the best song on this album. With it’s LED ZEPPELIN-esque groove and dirty backwoods twang this one is impossible to dislike. Those guitars hit the sweet spot and the rhythm section locks into a tight pocket that will likely make your toes tap. I know mine were tapping, and I’ve been listening to this one ever since.
Tracks like “What Do You Think” and “Summers End” help flesh out an album that has worked it’s way into my unconscious brain. And songs like “Hit Me With A Bullet” and “Lollipop” oblige serve to round out an overall fun experience. I find myself thinking about the record and how impressive it is that Stephen Pearcy has still got it in spades. If you are a fan of 80’s hair metal or loved RATT you owe it to yourself to pick up Stephen Pearcy’s Smash today!
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Shut Down Baby”, “Ten Miles Wide”, “What Do You Think”, “Summers End”