Stephen Pearcy - Social Intercourse
Top Fuel Records
Hard Rockin' Metal
11 songs (31:58)
Release year: 2004
Reviewed by Mike

After following the ridiculous, almost comical breakup of Ratt, I wasn't sure exactly what to expect from this new Stephen Pearcy album. Depending on whom you ask, Pearcy either quit or was fired from Ratt. As a result, there were actually two separate bands touring under the 'Ratt' moniker for some time. One of those bands featured Pearcy, while the other Ratt featured a lineup of Bobby Blotzer / Warren DeMartini / John Corabi / Jizzy Pearl. In my opinion, Pearcy's voice makes Ratt. The other (non-Pearcy) version of Ratt was a good band (I saw them live and had no complaints at all), but they should have changed their name in all fairness to the band's legacy and to their fans. But I digress. What to expect from a Pearcy solo album… Would this be just another burned out 80's rock star releasing an album to avoid a dreadful 9-5 job, or would this be an honest, kickass album that takes you back to the glory days of yesteryear?

Coming as a pleasant surprise to me, this album rocks hard, full of strong material. Where were these songs when the self-titled "reunion" Ratt album was released a few years ago? That highly anticipated album was a severe disappointment to me. The music lacked any hard edge whatsoever, reminding me more of contemporary adult rock than classic "Ratt 'n Roll." Pearcy has somehow rediscovered the true feeling of Ratt 'n Roll with Social Intercourse. Without sounding dated, Pearcy delivers eleven tracks of sleazy, hard rockin' metal that will surely please anyone who has ever owned a Ratt album. The songs are short and to the point (2.5 - 3 minute range), yet they are delivered like an uppercut directly to the jaw. The guitar work is strong, with crunchy and catchy hard rock riffs forming the backbone of the sound. Numerous tight, flamboyant solos fly at you constantly. In contrast to old Ratt (and 80's hard rock in general), the bass guitar is tuned to the right level. As a result, the overall vibe of the album is generally heavier than what you might expect from Ratt. Ya Gotta Love That sounds like juiced up, classic Ratt, while songs like Five Fingers and In The Corner have a vicious, metal tone much heavier than anything Ratt has ever done. Pearcy experiments with some subtle vocal distortions in spots, something I typically can't stand. Luckily, the distortion is very minimal (some of you might not even notice), yet they fittingly coincide with some of the more aggressive parts of the album. A well balanced, but not too "sweet" melodic quality is maintained throughout each of the tracks. The band isn't going for the catchy, sing along chorus line to hopefully win some radio time. There are no sappy power ballads to be found on this album either. Forceful, energetic guitars remain at the forefront of the sound, with an exclamation point. Although the songs maintain a very Ratt-like sleazy rock vibe, the guitar work reminds me very much of the energetic, wild guitar work of early 80's NWOBHM. Pearcy's voice hasn't deteriorated over the years of touring and recording. He sounds very much like the same singer he has been since Ratt's debut EP release some 20 years ago. All in all, Stephen Pearcy has put together quite an impressive band and album. Aside from two or three average tracks on the album, Social Intercourse serves as more than just a viable replacement for the defunct Ratt.

I have to give Stephen Pearcy a double horn salute for getting through the whole Ratt debacle to release a fine album such as this. Fans of sleazy 80's styled hard rock should jump on this album. Of course, Ratt fans will be delighted to hear the return of the spirit of "Ratt 'n Roll" that has been missing for a number of years now.

Killing Songs :
Can't Ever Get Enough, Ya Gotta Love That, Turn It Upside Down, Five Fingers
Mike quoted 75 / 100
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