Review by Woody
Smash is the fourth solo album from Ratt founder member Stephen Pearcy. I’ve always had a soft spot for Ratt and even managed to see them live at JB’s in Dudley not so long ago which was a pretty damn awesome experience! Pearcy might not be the strongest singer to emerge from the eighties rock scene, but given the right songs he can be very effective – Ratt’s back catalogue showcase Pearcy’s impact frequently. I’d checked out the video for the lead single ‘I Can’t Take It’ when this albums European release was announced and had very high hopes off the strength of a strong radio friendly song.
I was underwhelmed initially and I hoped further spins would give the songs a deeper impact, but sadly they didn’t. It’s quite a dark album at times, with strong alternative, modern touches added into the song writing which as you’d expect at its core is eighties flavoured hard rock. There’s more to a song than a chorus, but I feel that the album is littered with really weak choruses so very little grabbed my attention. Overall, it’s an album that makes very little impact and fades quickly from your memory.
The album opener ‘I Know I’m Crazy’ seems a strange choice to kick off with as it’s very dark, plodding and a tad grunge, It is not a good start at all. If you can make it past the first half of the album, you’ll discover the stronger tracks. Starting with ‘Rain’ which is a mid-tempo ballad with strong engaging melodies and a memorable guitar hook. The simplistic but effective ‘Want Too Much’ and the fast paced ‘Passion Infinity’ help prevent Smash from been a total stinker. The lead video single ‘I Can’t Take It’ is probably the catchiest song on the entire album, if this doesn’t fire you up lower your expectations for this album.
To me Smash as a whole feels a little empty with no heart or passion behind it, not just in the songs but also in their delivery. It’s not a bad album, trust me I’ve heard bad and this comes nowhere near, It’s listenable, but if you’re not an established Pearcy fan I’m not sure whether it’s worth your time. Check out the videos on youtube for a taste, the better songs have been officially released there for you to sample so if you’re not struck by them I’d avoid this one. I’m a fan of Pearcy, always will be and I really hope his next album sees him back on track!
Track Listing: I Know I’m Crazy / Ten Miles Wide / Shut Down Baby / Dead Roses / Lollipop / Hit Me With A Bullet / Rain / Want Too Much / What Do Ya Think / Jamie / I Can’t Take It / Passion Infinity / Summers End
Album Rating: 5/10
Woody’s Essential Track: Rain
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