Thursday, January 5, 2017


Stephen Pearcy
Frontiers Music (1.27.17)

One of the '80s most
prolific arena rock vets
returns with his brand
spanking new solo slab.
Spoiler alert — it doesn't
totally suck completely.

When not family feuding with on-again-off-again RATT members or performing with its various scab configurations, founding frontman, Stephen Pearcy also tours and records as a solo artist. And in 2017, the former platinum-selling powerhouse has dropped his fourth album.

Seemingly distancing himself from the iconic voiceprint that made him a superstar 30+ years ago, Pearcy's performance here is adequate overall, but often lacks his signature-style nuts-n-guts swagger. And although mixing and mastering duties were handled by original RATT producer, Beau Hill, SMASH delivers merely lo-fi results  Invasion of Your Privacy it ain't. 

But there's no need for Pearcy's ever-faithful to come unhinged, as there's actually much to celebrate. Despite serving up a lukewarm half-cup of demo-caliber content, this 13-song set does offer a good many rock-solid tracks. "Ten Miles Wide" and "Lollipop" point perfectly to Pearcy's RATT-era glory days, while "Dead Roses" and "Jamie" are delightfully harder-hitting highlights. However, it's the Physical Graffiti-inspired "Shut Down Baby" and the organic-sounding Zep III-flavored "Summer's End" that make SMASH truly zing.

-Christopher Long
(January 2017)

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