Back with his fourth solo album and accompanied by former members of Ratt and White Lion Stephen Pearcy shows us that while he still has plenty of party left, his roots are firmly in pedigree classic rock, just as much old school as old skool if you get our drift. Lyrical content is diverse and so while there are party songs, be prepared for philosophy, perception and positivity showing that he can do more than the hair metal three ps (party, pussy and paycheck) although those are still inevitably around. This particular rodent is now far more aware having escaped the hazy eighties intact and with smarts honed by experience.
Stephen’s voice is still his unique calling card and is unmistakeable and so there is plenty of continuity from the old days particularly say in ‘Hit Me with A Bullet’ and ‘Ten Miles Wide’ which cranks out the Ratt riffs from the off. However there’s more of the Led Zeppelin groove about tracks like ‘Shut Down Baby’, ‘What Do Ya think’ and more feelin in guitar on tracks like ‘I know I’m crazy’ going back to the roots of Ratt n Roll not just the externals. Sleaze and fun are still present, ‘Lollipop’ leaving little to the imagination, but appreciation of life and relationships comes to the fore in tracks like ‘Rain’ about Stephen’s daughter, ‘You want too much’ and ‘Dead Roses’ about those that have crossed him (recent Ratt events coming to the fore). That feelin of the streets skills needed from livin with the seedy and less than inspiration side of LA (always present in Ratt material) shines through loud and clear. Rats are nothing if not clever survivors.
So Pearcy arrives in 2017 unscathed, indeed reinvigorated by the poison of street life. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.