Will appeal to fans of the halcyon days of Hair Metal and The Sunset Strip but to general fans of good Hard Rock, this is well worth a listen.
The voice of Ratt returns in the New Year with his fourth solo release and his first since 2008's 'Under My Skin'. Having finally quit Ratt in April this year to concentrate on his solo career, Stephen Pearcy has reunited long time cohorts Erik Ferentinos (guitar), Matt Thorne (bass, keyboards) and Greg D'Angelo (drums) whilst also enlisting the help of legendary producer Beau Hill to produce part of the album. This release has been a while in the pipeline, but is worth the wait?
The album kicks off a haunting intro ('I Know I'm Crazy') which heads into a deep ballsy sound with a heavy bass line. The song is easily accessible and a good pointer as to what is to come. 'Ten Miles Wide' has the classic Ratt sound, Ferentinos' guitar punching you repeatedly. The songs continue apace; 'Shut Down Baby' and 'Dead Roses' still carry the attitude of The Strip at its height and will have fans of that eighties sound drooling, although it has a slightly modern twist.
What you have is a wonderfully consistent, well produced set of songs that continue to engage the listener. The thunderous 'Hit Me With A Bullet' has D'Angelo pounding the skins to a pulp with Thorne trying his best to break hiss bass strings. 'Rain' is a song that could have been a Ratt classic, it's difficult not to feel the Ratt sound with Pearcy's voice being so recognisable, yet he still manages to keep an air of individuality hidden within the layers of the tracks.
'I Can't Take It' is probably the highlight of the album for me and understandably the first single off of it. Great guitar-work shines through on the song and the catchiness of it will have you humming the track all day. The album ends as it began with the slower tones of 'Summer's End' and a great showcase for the wonderful voice Pearcy possesses.
'Smash' is a great collection of songs, well written, superbly played with a good crisp production. Stephen Pearcy will always be the voice of Ratt, but these tracks are strong enough in their own right and hopefully we will get to experience them on the road. This set of songs will appeal to fans of the halcyon days of Hair Metal and The Sunset Strip but to general fans of good Hard Rock, this is well worth a listen.