Stephen Pearcy – “Smash” (Frontiers Music)
While the controversy of having 2 Ratts continues, twice former front man Stephen Pearcy isn’t too concerned anymore about the platinum rock band he founded. Already an accomplished producer, creator of TV programs, writer, art director, owner of his Top Fuel label, author of his first book “Sex, Drugs and Ratt & Roll”, and more recently entrepreneur of the “Mic Knuckle” product range, there’s plenty going on in the talented mind of Pearcy. Still, with the demand for Ratt and himself still high, its hard to ignore the music and so, on this 4th solo record he’s teamed up with none other than Beau Hill, legendary producer of Ratt’s first four albums. As the (co)writer on hits like ‘Round And Round’, ‘Wanted Man’ and ‘Back For More’, Pearcy has turned his composing prowess, along with a hard rocking band who deliver without question on the 13 tracks of the aptly titled “Smash”. Needless to say, the material has a Ratt signature with plenty of sass and rock n roll attitude, although it’s by no means retro although it’s definitely diverse, taken from different eras of Ratt right from the tight n punchy ‘Hit Me With Your Bullet’ which had a ring of songs from their very first EP like ‘You Think You’re Tough’ to the very slick slide guitar sleaze rock of ‘Shut Down Baby’ right up until the cowboy rock of ‘What Do Ya Think’ tastefully mixing acoustic with yet more slide, along with Pearcy’s own teasing vocals. Unafraid to throw in an 80s power ballad in ‘Rain’ complete with chorus shout outs, the hard raging rock of ‘Want Too Much’ could actually be from that decade with its chugging riffola and AOR melodies – indeed that’s what Ratt was all about, mixing kick ass rock n roll with hard rock n metal! With others content to fight over the royalties of a legacy, Stephen Pearcy has once again shown his measure in being able to rise above it all and deliver a “Smash” that all the fans truly want.