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Pearcy, Stephen: Stripped

As the label behind the Metal Mania Stripped CDs and DVD, Los Angeles-based Sidewinder Music seems to be carving a niche for itself by releasing acoustic albums by has-been hair-metal heroes an idea that actually sounds better on disc that it looks on paper. Stripped was recorded live and acoustic in March 2006 at The Key Club on Hollywood's Sunset Strip, a place that used to be called Gazzarri's and played host to Ratt and many other up-and-comers back in the day. This 12-song set features ex-Ratt throat Stephen Pearcy and his six-man Rat Bastards band (which includes former Quiet Riot and current in-demand session bassist Chuck Wright). The singer's voice doesn't sound as sleazy as it once did, but it's definitely been leathered by years of hard living and hard singing.

Many songs from the Ratt catalog (and Arcade's "Mother Blues," plus one song each from Zeppelin and Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac) work surprisingly well in this semi-unplugged setting. "Back For More" grooves as a mid-tempo ballad, the bluesy swagger of "Way Cool Jr." is more apparent than on the original and "Lay It Down" simply rocks, regardless of how it's played. Other tunes, such as "Lovin' You's A Dirty Job," "Wanted Man" and even "Round & Round" don't work quite as well in an acoustic environment.

Of course, Pearcy, even in middle age, still acts like a crude and horny teenager with between-song lines like "I'd rather be plugged in, ladies." (Geddit, geddit?) For this one evening, though, he sounds pretty damn good unplugged even if he's been reduced to opening-act status, a fact he acknowledges from the stage in a fleeting moment.

Track Listing:
1) Slip of the Lip
2) Back For More
3) Way Cool Jr.
4) Lovin' You's A Dirty Job
5) Lay It Down
6) You're In Love
7) Mother Blues
8) You Think You're Tough
9) Wanted Man
10) Bring It On Home
11) Oh Well
12) Round & Round

Added: May 24th 2006
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Sidewinder Music
Hits: 2034
Language: english

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