Arcade Arcade (Epic) 1993

1. Dancin' With The Angels (4:08)
2. Nothin' To Lose (4:38)
3. Calm Before The Storm (4:07)
4. Cry No More (5:34)
5. Screamin' S.O.S. (3:36)
6. Never Goin' Home (3:41)
7. Messed Up World (3:56)
8. All Shook Up (3:38)
9. So Good...So Bad... (4:38)
10. Livin' Dangerously (3:13)
11. Sons And Daughters [instrumenta] (1:52)
12. Mother Blues (3:11)

I didn't expect much from this CD. The lame cover art sort of gave me a negative impression of the CD before I even heard it. However, when the music started pumping through my speakers, I was more than pleasantly surprised. Stephen Pearcy's post-Ratt showcase is exploding with confidence and pure, heavy, rock and roll attitude. If lead-off track "Dancin' With the Angels" doesn't convince the skeptics, then nothing will. Thankfully the band seems to be completely unaware that it was 1993 and this style of music was no longer cool. Comparisons to Ratt are inevitable, but really Pearcy's signature wail is the biggest connection. Instead, the band seems to have a major Aerosmith fixation, building on the Boston bad boys more melodic nature. Basically, this is a lean, mean rock and roll machine, only occasionally dipping into ballads and acoustic guitars. ("Sons And Daughters" is an acoustic guitar instrumental that acts as an opening for "Mother Blues".) The band certainly stearing clear of the ultra-slick sound that many bands of similar ilk had fallen prey to. This is a record with swagger. On board also is Cinderella/Chastain drummer Fred Coury and Sea Hags guitarist Frankie Wilsex.

A/2 Arcade - A/2 (Epic) 1994

1.      Angry (4:45)
2.      The Move (4:31)
3.      So What (4:35)
4.      Get Off My Back (2:28)
5.      When I'm Gone (5:37)
6.      Welcome (3:27)
7.      Kidnapped (4:58)
8.      Chain To Me(4:13)
9.      Room With A View (5:15)
10.    Your Only Age (2:37)
11.    Hot Racin'  (3:36)

Arcade is the 1990's band basically made up of Stephen Pearcy (Ratt), guitarist Frankie Wilsex (Sea Hags) and  drummer Fred Coury (Cinderella/Chastain). On this their second release, the band were trying a different sound than their debut. "A/2" was released in 1994 right in the middle of the age of flannel shirts and grunge music. As such, Arcade were struggling to stay relevant and were obviously taking cues from Alice in Chains in attempting to balance a sound between heavy metal and grunge. The album actually reminds me slightly of Kiss' "Carnival of Souls" in that respect. This broodiness in their sound was somewhat successful, though fan reviews were relatively negative. There are a few standout tracks including the droning lead off track "Angry", slightly punk-infused rocker "Your Only Age" and the angry "So What" with it's bluesy vibe and cool guitar solos.  On the other hand, "When I'm Gone" is a feeble attempt at a radio ballad and "Get Off My Back" sort of monotonous and bland. All in all, "A/2" isn't as bad as reviewers say, but it isn't quite as enjoyable as the debut either.

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