Stephen Pearcy – Smash
2017, Frontier Records
- I Know I’m Crazy
- Ten Miles Wide
- Shut Down Baby
- Dead Roses
- Hit Me With a Bullet
- Want Too Much
- What Do Ya Think
- I Can’t Take It (2017)
- Passion Infinity
- Summers End
Stephen Pearcy – Vocals
Erik Ferentinos – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Chris Hager – Guitar
Matt Thorn – Bass
Greg D’Angelo – Drums, Percussion
Stephen Pearcy’s solo releases have been pretty spotty over the years. There may be a couple of songs that I think are decent, but I usually don’t really care for the grungy industrial style that Stephen seemed to be fond of on Social Intercourse and Fueler. Luckily with Smash we’re finally getting a Stephen Pearcy album that I think a lot of Ratt fans could find to be enjoyable. It makes me wonder how much of an input Frontiers Records had on this album since they almost exclusively release melodic rock.
Granted, Stephen Pearcy hasn’t totally abandoned the sound he usually goes for with his solo work. The opener, “I Know I’m Crazy”, is a crunchy piece of alternative rock that would sound right at home on Social Intercourse or Fueler.
It’s not until you get into the second half of the album that you begin to access a more melodic approach that I think Ratt fans might find appeasing. “Rain” is a catchy number, while “Want Too Much” is a sleazy rocker that sounds like it could be a deep cut from Ratt. Same goes for “Hit Me With a Bullet”. “Shut Down Baby” has a classic rock/Zeppelin vibe, which is a welcome sound from Pearcy.
Still, I realize it’s ironic that I say I don’t care for Pearcy’s work when he goes off the beaten path, because I really love “Summers End”, the album’s final track. It’s a trippy and psychedelic kind of ballad that reminds me of equal parts Led Zeppelin and Stone Temple Pilots. Okay, if he wants to do an entire album like THIS, I would very much enjoy it. This is probably the best song Stephen Pearcy has ever done as a solo artist.
Smash is easily the best solo effort from Pearcy. I think I might even like this more than the last Ratt album (Infestation).
Highlights: “Ten Miles Wide”, “Rain”, “Want Too Much”, “Jamie”, “Summers End”