Frontiers [Release date 27.01.17]
“Smash” is the latest solo album from Stephen Pearcy and it really is hard not to draw comparison with Ratt as the band’s frontman is really back at his best here.
The 13 track album opens with “I Know I’m Crazy”, a song that mixes sharp words with that classic Pearcy vocal sound. There are a couple of tracks that could easily be Ratt in “Ten Miles Wide” and “Jamie”, whilst “Dead Roses” is reminiscent of the singer’s post-Ratt Arcade project.
On “Smash” Pearcy is channelling his influences and this can be heard on the Led Zep like ”Shut Down Baby”, “What Do Ya Think” and balladry of closing track “Summers End”. There is also more than a passing hint of Van Halen to be heard in the song “Lollipop”.
This really is a consistently good album, take the Michael Wagener produced lead single “I Can’t Take It” as the prime example that Pearcy’s intends to take his career right back to where it should be. The rest of the album was produced by the man himself, and he has made a record that can fully match his intentions.
Other highlights here include “Rain”, “Hit Me With A Bullet” and “Want Too Much”- the latter of which would have been a staple on MTV back in the day, before the channel became an endless reality TV show.
Stephen Pearcy has one of those voices that is instantly recognisable and will forever be a reminder of the heyday of Sunset Strip. As “Smash” was being released news broke that Ratt will reform with the surviving members, bar drummer Bobby Blotzer, in the summer – let’s hope this doesn’t overshadow the album as it really is one of the best that he has made. ****
Review by Nikk Gunns
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