STEPHEN PEARCY – View To A Thrill [Japan Edition +1] (2018)
STEPHEN PEARCY is back with his fifth solo album “View To A Thrill”, released on Nov. 9 via Frontiers Music, and tomorrow this Japanese Edition with a bonus track. The follow-up to the very good 2017’s ‘Smash’ was produced by Pearcy along with Matt Thorne, who also oversaw the mixing process with Pearcy’s guitarist Eric Ferentinos, who co-wrote the album’s 11 songs.
If Smash was already a strong CD, wait to listen to “View To A Thrill”… easylt among the best work Stephen Pearcy has done since the ’80s.
There’s no point starting this review anywhere else: Stephen Pearcy is the front man of Ratt. Normally, you’d try and eschew the obvious, but it’ll only take twenty seconds before you realise you are basically listening to a new Ratt album.
There’s a few bars of some eerie keyboard sound, before that voice comes in – the voice that Pearcy has always more or less defined the US sleazy / glam metal sound – and the riff to “U Only Live Twice” chugs in.
You’d swear it was 1984 all over again.
And it’s ace.
“View To A Thrill” is not just Pearcy’s fifth solo record, but is probably his best. He’s back to his best most certainly and in Erik Ferentinos he has found a phenomenal musician to back up his vision.
Ferentinos plays all guitars here, and his work is outstanding giving songs like “Sky Falling” (a reference to the James Bond series as the artwork) a real sheen of class.
Likewise, “Malibu” manages to pull of the trick of being absolutely rooted in the music I – and you imagine a good many people buying this – grew up with – but never sounding dated. It never gets cliched, because Pearcy and Ferentinos buy into this completely – and my goodness, can they write a chorus and a hook.
“One In A Million” is just that, given that you will be able to sing it after the first go around, and “Double Shot” just oozes (leaks?) US 1987 sleazy all over the place. Right down to the ‘Love In A Elevator’ nod of “oooh Mr. Pearcy, is that shaken not stirred?” (famous Bond sentence).
“Secrets To Tell” – this one mentions ‘Goldeneye’ – has a pre-chorus that just screams Detonator era Ratt, and just when you think this record can’t get any better than it unveils its blockbuster.
“Not Killin’ Me”. On one hand it’s a mid-paced melodic rocker but peel it away and it’s impossible not to resist its beguiling charms. Songs aren’t this catchy, they just aren’t.
“Dangerous Thing” is a little more muscular, while “I’m A Ratt” barely needs any explanation. He is, he was and on this evidence, forever will be.
“From The Inside” has – to these ears anyway – the air of a latter day Alice Cooper song about it (praise doesn’t come much higher) and the closing ‘Violator’ is interesting because it is a touch brooding, a little malevolent even, as if it comes in with a whiff of violence, it shows that chances could have been taken.
“View To A Thrill” is a record for those, like me, that had a Ratt patch on their denim jackets in 1987. It is a brilliant one too.
It’s being released under the ‘Stephen Pearcy’ moniker, but in fact this is a NEW RATT album. He said it in track 9: “I’m A Ratt”. And it’s true.
The man with the license to thrill for all these years is bang on target here.
01. U Only Live Twice
02. Sky Falling
04. One In A Million
05. Double Shot
06. Secrets To Tell
07. Not Killin’ Me
08. Dangerous Thing
09. I’m A Ratt
10. From The Inside
12. Not Killin’ Me (Extended Version) (Japan Bonus Track)
Stephen Pearcy – Vocals
Erik Ferentinos – Guitars, Backing Vocals, Keys
Matt Thorne – Bass, Keys, Backing Vocals
Scot Coogan – Drums