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Artist: Stephen Pearcy
Genre: Hard Rock / Metal
Label: Frontiers music srl.
Release Date: January 27, 2017
If you’re anything like me, you were really disappointed to hear that Ratt had broken up after producing such an incredible album with “Infestation”. I’ve been a big fan of Ratt over the years, as well as lead singer Stephen Pearcy‘s solo and side project albums. You have to give credit to Stephen Pearcy. He stays busy. Both recording new material and touring. I’ll admit that it’s often hard for me to separate Stephen Pearcy and Ratt, as I’ve always thought Pearcy is synonymous with Ratt‘s sound. When I heard that Pearcy’s latest solo effort “Smash” was being recorded, I was eagerly waiting for it’s release. So, let’s get right to it. First off, is this a Ratt album? No. Although, there are several tracks that you would be surprised to learn, are not actual Ratt material. This is Stephen Pearcy. Plain and simple. Stephen decides to experiment with several different musical styles without leaving the genre and sound that he’s known for. The first track, “I Know I’m Crazy” starts off with an intro that’s very reminiscent of “In The Light” by Led Zeppelin. However that’s where the similarities end and the track goes in a completely direction. It’s a moody, hard rocking track that has a great chorus. “Ten Miles Wide” is one of the songs that could easily be on any Ratt album. It’s a great rocker that’s also probably my favorite on the entire album. “Shut Down Baby” has a slide guitar intro that also makes me think of Led Zeppelin. It’s a fun, energetic track that’s quite memorable. “Dead Roses” is a bit grittier, dirtier and heavier than the previous songs. I really like the abrasive sound of it. It’s another standout track that shows Pearcy’s versatility. “Lollipop” is a little more like “Way Cool Junior” and is another interesting twist. “Hit Me With A Bullet” is mix of heavy guitar and a catchy chorus. With “Rain” Pearcy treads new, yet Ratt-like material. This one sounds like it would have fit nicely on the “Dancing Undercover” album. “Want Too Much” is another Ratt-esque track that fans should really dig. It’s also another one of my favorites on “Smash”. “What Do Ya Think” is an acoustic tinged, bluesy rocker that’s another great example of Pearcy’s ability to adapt to different styles. With “Jamie” and “I Can’t Take It” we see Stephen Pearcy hit his sweet spot on the album as both tracks are simply outstanding. Yes, they could easily be Ratt tracks, but they aren’t. They’re absolutely Stephen Pearcy in every way. And that fact alone speaks volumes to me. Ratt is a band that’s comprised of many great musicians, but let’s face it, a version of Ratt without Stephen Pearcy is not really Ratt and not really relevant. The final two tracks “Passion Infinity” and “Summer’s End” are both really solid tracks that take me back to the days when people created full albums and people listened to the albums in their entirety, rather than just one or two singles. This is Stephen Pearcy‘s best solo album to date, without question. Let’s give credit to his choice of musicians that play on “Smash” as well. There’s a lot of great talent represented here, with members and former members from familiar bands like Rough Cutt and White Lion. Erik Ferentinos‘ guitars are simply smoking throughout and provide Stephen with the best guitarist to back him up since Warren De Martini and Robbin Crosby. You can read my recent interview with Stephen Pearcy and his thoughts about this album, Ratt and more, here. If you are a fan of Ratt, Stephen Pearcy, or 80’s style hard rock and metal fan, go out and buy “Smash” as soon as it’s available. You will not be disappointed.
01 – I Know I’m Crazy
02 – Ten Miles Wide
03 – Shut Down Baby
04 – Dead Roses
05 – Lollipop
06 – Hit Me With A Bullet
07 – Rain
08 – Want Too Much
09 – What Do Ya Think
10 – Jamie
11 – I Can’t Take It (Album Version)
12 – Passion Infinity
13 – Summers End
STEPHEN E. PEARCY – Lead Vocals, Back-up Vocals
ERIK FERENTINOS – Rhythm & Lead Guitars, Back-up vocals
GREG D’ ANGELO – Drums, Percussion
MATT THORN – Bass Guitar
CHRIS HAGER – Guitars, Lead Guitars on track (3)
Stephen Pearcy Official Site
Stephen Pearcy On Facebook