REVIEW: STEPHEN PEARCY – “Smash”
Dawn 'Mama Love' Brown
One of the great things about making music is, if the music is in you, you’ll keep making it. No matter what happens in your life, no matter how old you get, you’ve still got a song in your heart and an undying need to continue to weave that musical fabric that holds you together. In the rock/metal industry, we’re seeing a resurgence of artists who began their careers in the 80s coming back to their roots and throwing down some good rock and roll albums. Bands and artists like Tesla, Sebastian Bach, have released some creative and solid new music, and countless other artists continue to tour off of their past success.
Then there are artists that never really went away as they’ve continued to make new music since the 80s. One of these unforgettable artists is Stephen Pearcy, solo artist and lead singer of 80s icons, RATT. The RATT Bastard himself (his words) has descended from the recording studio with a 13-track ( album ) set to release in late January entitled, ‘Smash’. ‘Smash’ is the fourth solo outing for Pearcy and certainly won’t be the last despite his intention to reclaim Team RATT full-time.
‘Smash’ is just what one would think it to be. A rock and roll treat to the discerning 80s ear, yet isn’t a blatant throwback to Pearcy’s earlier days in the business. The songs are diverse, well-written, and more importantly, well-performed. Pearcy’s voice, while subtly different in tone, is strong in nature and has stood the test of time.
The record opens with a short but mesmerizing synth piece that frames “I Know I’m Crazy” which has a unique sound, vaguely different than the balance of the album. It has almost campy vocals with a catchy chorus and a lively guitar solo. “Ten Miles Wide”, the single from the album, is a sparkling example of modern rock with a retro flair. Can’t wait to catch the video! A few songs on the album have a definite blues feel, rather Led Zeppelin-esque in nature, such as “Shut Down Baby” and “What Do Ya Think”. Both songs
“Dead Roses” opens with Pearcy uttering a strong “muthafucker!” which, upon first listen, is kind of comical. But the urge to giggle goes away once the song gets underway. It has a bar band vibe that will translate to a live setting perfectly. Following along those lines is “Lollipop”, “Hit Me With A Bullet” and “Want Too Much”. “Rain” is also unique in its own rite with a slower pace and keys that add an orchestral element. The record is rounded out by “Jamie”, “I Can’t Take It”, “Passion Infinity” and “Summer’s End” which I would describe as having the sound of a traditional power ballad, with similar lyrics and imagery inherent in that musical category. Others may disagree but others aren’t writing this review.
Overall, the album is certainly worth the investment. Stephen Pearcy has put down a diverse and eclectic mix of ideas, riffs and melodies and continues to be a valuable member of the music industry. ‘Smash’ is one of Stephen Pearcy’s best solo efforts to date. It has a rock and roll vibe sure to please fans of Pearcy and RATT alike.