1993 ! Kurt Cobain and The Seattle Tsunami wiped out everything 80s Rock or as the Kids would say Hair Metal!
Yeah, well tell Stephen Pearcy(ex Ratt Lead Singer) that! Steve-O did not get that memo! By quitting Ratt in 1991 he formed Arcade with drummer Fred Coury(Fred was in the band Cinderella and left that band I believe around the same time.)
From there Stephen and Fred secured a major record deal with Epic Records while others from the so-called Hair Genre(Warrant, Posion,Winger,BulletBoys,White Lion and many more) just crumbled into Quicksand known as Grunge!
This album on so many levels Kicks Ass! Even Til this day! Pearcy and Coury when they began writing tunes did the right thing and did some co writes with Jim Vallance(Bryan Adams sidekick songwriter for many a year).
Some will say ‘its kinda like Ratt” Sure it is but this is Pearcys deal as Ratt was his deal as it was his voice but Arcade kinda kicks it up a notch a little more Sleaze Ball Sunset Strip Style RnR for my liking!
So Stephen and Fred along with Frankie Wilsex(guitar) Donny Syracuse(guitar) & Michael Andrews(bass) roll up their sleeves and slam down what I consider a real good blast from the past LA Rock but at the time keeping the eye on not being stagnant and trying to move forward in a market at the time that didn’t want to know about them!
“Dancin’ with the Angels”
“Nothin’ to Lose”
“Calm Before the Storm”
“Cry No More”
“Never Goin’ Home”
“Messed Up World”
“All Shook Up”
“So Good… So Bad…”
“Sons and Daughters”
Arcade light the Sleaze 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 Micheals Bass while the buzz saw 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….Yeah Man This Rocks! Watch the video and Yup Crank It!
Nothin To Lose begins with some serious Bass and drums with some added percussion added to the fire and here’s the first of four Vallance co writes as Pearcy and Company are not easing off the gas folks! Nothin To Lose is a straight ahead take no prisoners track and keeps the Party Bus rolling! Catchy Chorus and Pearcy could always nail down a decent hook. Must mention the two guitar players Frankie and Donny as they play 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 guitars a 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! Wowzer’s! The vibe is so good! The Video is posted at the top of page. Crank it!
Oh Oh! Track 4 is the Ballad! Cry No More is 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 your Poison Ballad Like Drivel(take your pick)Arcade and basically Coury drives this song and I must mention on this album Fred has 7 co writes on this record of course Pearcy dabbles in all 12 tracks but give it up for the Drummer Guy! Cry No More really ramps and catches fire at the end with a real sweet spot of Syrupy Hard Rock that is so freaking good that I can honestly say that these 4 tracks stand up and in some cases are better than the first 4 tracks on some Ratt albums….Yup! You read that right!
The rest of Arcade is No Frills Rock N Roll and Pearcy delivers as this is his style and he doesn’t reinvent the wheel. Steve-o 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 and for all the times I holler ” I hate syrup added with cheese” in regards to Sap Tracks. Pearcy man his vocals sound tortured and he digs deep into the vocal and pulls it off. Surprising? No not really even back in the Ratt Hey Day of the roaring 80s Steve could dial-up a decent slow-paced track and not syrup out the sonics!
The album finishes up with Sons & Daughters(short little acoustic ditty) followed by the end of the album Acoustic Driven Mother Blues
Ass Kicker of a debut comes to mind and this album is a classic!
On a side note I have to Thank Aaron from the K.M.A who about a year was going to Toronto with Mikey Ladano and Aaron always asks everyone in the blogging community if they want him to look for albums that are hard to find! We call it the Holy Grail!
I tossed out Arcade!( misplaced this album years ago and my policy is I will not review anything that is not in my iPod )Aaron looked last year couldn’t find it and that was that right?!
Wrongo! Sitting in my inbox a few weeks back was the full album sent to me! Aaron called it Christmas In May! Ha! So true and then a few days later the cd arrived via Snail Mail! Aaron living in Southern Ontario tracked Arcade down in Nova Scotia!
Thanks Heaps Aaron….