ARCADE (Stephen Pearcy) – A/1 [Japanese CD edition] *HQ*

ARCADE (Stephen Pearcy) - A/1 [Japanese CD edition] *HQ* - full

As requested, here’s the debut album by ARCADE, known as “Arcade” or “A/1“, in its Japanese pressing including a bonus track.
This supergroup was formed in 1992 by ex- RATT vocalist Stephen Pearcy, CINDERELLA drummer Fred Coury, ex- SEA HAGS guitarist Frankie Wilsex, ex- GYPSY ROSE guitarist Donny Syracuse, and ex- 9.0 bassist Michael Andrews.
Signed by major label Epic, and despite “Arcade” being released in 1993 at the end of the Eighties American melodic hard rock wave, the album sold well producing two singles that would land in the Top 30 of the Billboard Mainstream Rock Chart. That led the band touring with BON JOVI the same year and even played at the Milwaukee Metal Fest.
Produced with pin-point precision by David Prater (FireHouse, Diving For Pearls), some songs were co-written with Jim Vallance (Bryan Adams) and there’s a couple of ballads on “A/1”, but make no mistake, this album rocks hard.

“Arcade” has many points in common with RATT, however the delivering is much more hard n’ heavy. Pearcy & Coury kinda kicks it up a notch the Sleazy Sunset Strip ball here.
Arcade light the LA rock fuse with ‘Dancin’ With The Angels’, the opening track, as they rocket out of the gate with the best song that Aerosmith didn’t write in the 1990s. Seriously ‘Dancin’ sets the tempo with a ton of bottom end between Fred’s Drums and Micheal’s Bass, while the buzzsaw guitars lay down some slick slide work at a pissed off pace set forth by the rhythm section. Add in some Steve Tyler ‘Yelps’ at the beginning and we’re off. Think Aerosmith finding there stash and dipping into it and hitting the sonic highway.

‘Nothin’ To Lose’ begins with some serious bass / drums pattern with some percussion added to the fire and here’s the first of four Vallance co-writes as Pearcy and Co. are not easing off the gas. The track is a straight ahead take no prisoners tune and keeps the party bus rolling. There’s a catchy chorus and Pearcy could always nail down a decent hook.
Must mention the two guitar players Frankie and Donny as they crack cool solos on this album – not that dipity do dah wank fests of the 80s. This here is the 90s.

‘Calm Before The Storm’ is a beast of a track. The song starts off with guitar riffing at a slow yet heavy clip and almost with a tinge of Aero tossed in for good flavour. The verses here are dope sick excellent as Pearcy takes control of the song and the Arcade boys back him up with fire. Great rockin’ vibe.
Track 4 is the ballad ‘Cry No More’, built around the piano but due to the excellent production this song does not whimper but more like a kicker and I’m real good with this style of ballad per se. This not bland at all. Coury drives this song and I must mention on this album Fred has 7 co-writes which is a lot for a drummer in a band. ‘Cry No More’ really ramps and catches fire at the end with a real sweet spot of Melodic Hard Rock that is so freaking good.

The rest of ”Arcade’ is No-Frills Rock N’ Roll, and Pearcy delivers this in his style and he doesn’t reinvent the wheel. He just adds air to the tires and blasts off! ‘Screamin S.O.S’, ‘Never Goin’ Home’, ‘Messed Up World’, ‘All Shook Up’ – totally subscribe to the theory of Loud Guitars, Big Drums and Great Vocal Screechin’.
At the back end of the album is the piano driven ballad ‘So Good… So Bad…’ Yeah, another ballad but very good. Pearcy vocals sound tortured and he digs deep into the vocal and pulls it off. Surprising? No, not really – even back in the Ratt heyday of the roaring 80s Stephen could dial-up a decent slow-paced track and not syrup out the sonics.

The album finishes up with ‘Sons & Daughters’ (short little ditty) followed by the acoustic ‘Driven Mother Blues’, very 1990-92 campfire-type song, very well done.
But wait… the Japanese bonus track brings back the dirty rock n’ roll – this kick ass tune sounds like ’77 Aerosmith… oh yeah! Priceless.

“Arcade” or “A/1” kicks some serious ass. After released the album sold over 100,000 copies in the US. Nothing despicable considering it was 1993… imagine this CD out 1989/90 and woulda been a hit.
Never head Arcade? You’ll be surprised. Already have the album? Don’t miss the Japanese bonus track.
HIGHLY Recommended


01 – Dancin’ With The Angels
02 – Nothin’ To Lose
03 – Calm Before The Storm
04 – Cry No More
05 – Screamin’ S.O.S.
06 – Never Goin’ Home
07 – Messed Up World
08 – All Shook Up
09 – So Good… So Bad…
10 – Livin’ Dangerously
11 – Sons And Daughters
12 – Mother Blues
13 – Reckless [Japan Bonus Track]

Stephen Pearcy – lead vocals
Frankie Wilsex – guitar
Donny Syracuse – guitar
Michael Andrews – bass
Fred Coury – drums


out of print

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1 Response

  1. jay says:

    WOW! Thnx for this 0day. this was such an underrated album in my opinion

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