In recent days, the 1993 debut and self titled album from Arcade found it’s way into my ears. (Thank you Best Metal Buddy Scott). Epic Records released this Arcade debut. You all should be quite familiar with Arcade’s front man Stephen Pearcy… lead singer for RATT and very much a prominent, memorable and flamboyant Hair Metal figure from the 1980′s. Fred Coury, the drummer for still another iconic 1980′s Hair Metal juggernaut – Cinderella, found that one of his Heavy Metal path’s led to Arcade as well. Hair Metal and Glam Metal aside, Arcade was just damn good Heavy Metal – period. In my Metal opinion, if Arcade was to have been assembled around 1985, (instead of the gray lined early ’90′s), they would have had their likenesses adorning highway billboards – all over North America. O.k., that might be of a Metal stretch, nonetheless, Arcade would easily have been bigger and more widely received during an earlier era. Revisiting Heavy Metal Bands from the past that are no longer together, makes for the credibility of just where Heavy Metal is today… these are the bands and musicians that kept the Metal flame burning during a ’90′s decade of Heavy Metal uncertainty. I was never uncertain about my beloved Heavy Metal during the ’90′s… and by the sounds of it, neither was Stephen Pearcy and Arcade.
What this debut album from Arcade shows me, is that Stephen Pearcy acknowledged within himself, that he had all the Metal ingredients and creativity to be a star outside of RATT. And certainly, I would hope the majority of us Metalheads know that RATT was no fluke, their heavy legacy still reigns to this very day. For Stephen Pearcy to be the lead vocalist for two bands of this quality and caliber is not an everyday accomplishment. Essentially, the same can be Metal said for Fred Coury respecively, on drums. Guitarists Donny Syracuse and Frankie Wilsex add credence to Arcade’s own Heavy Metal identity. The only reminder of RATT within the sound of Arcade is Stephen Pearcy’s vocals and he CANNOT be faulted for that.
It sounds very clear to me, that Stephen Pearcy and his Heavy Metal posse called Arcade, knew all along, just how to create and write a ballad. Cry No More, Mother Blues and So Good… So Bad… are extremely tolerable ballads to listen to. I can actually listen to these three ballads repeatedly! (Now, listening to any ballad repeatedly is a rarity in my Metal world). Arcade actually found that semi sappy to sappy lyrics don’t need to be coupled with excessively sappy music, that brings you to the brink of an emotional meltdown. I will admit, Cry No More has an acoustic guitar intro that carries on a very reminiscent tone and mood from Cinderella’s classic Power Ballad – Nobody’s Fool. Mother Blues is an unplugged/acoustic listen in Rock goodness, it really is. Sons And Daughters is the lone instrumental on Arcade. An acoustic instrumental that lends itself as the perfect segue to Mother Blues.
Arcade is one of those albums where it is obviously nonsensical to breakdown each song as a review. Those who have listened and liked this album may understand my point. Outside of the three ballads and one instrumental previously mentioned, the other eight songs are undisputed Rockers. If you are looking to revisit these songs or give them a first time listen, understand that the hard and heavy from Arcade doesn’t give me a moments break… and I like that! I try to steer away from pinpointing what exact genre Arcade belongs to… at the end of the Metal day does it really matter? Arcade is Hard Rock colliding with Heavy Metal, whatever one’s interpretation that differs from mine is a matter of personal Metal labeling.
From the onset, Dancin’ With The Angels is fair warning that Stephen Pearcy and Arcade are NOT about re-treading RATT. Messed Up World is my favorite song from Arcade. The lyrics of Messed Up World could not resonate any more loud and true for me. Relevance? This song is exploding at the Metal seams with it. Messed Up World could have easily been written for today’s nightly news features.
Arcade… they came, they saw, they Metal conquered.
ARCADE, as they appeared on their 1993 debut album:
Stephen Pearcy – lead vocalist
Donny Syracuse – guitarist
Frankie Wilsex – guitarist
Michael Andrews – bass guitarist
Fred Coury – drummer
The Track Listing For Arcade:
Dancin’ With The Angels
Nothin’ To Lose
Calm Before The Storm
Cry No More
Never Goin’ Home
Messed Up World – *(Metal Odyssey Note: My favorite song, man, it’s a good one)
All Shook Up
So Good… So Bad…
Sons And Daughters
* Metal Odyssey’s Metal research has found there is an additional song on the Japanese version of Arcade – Reckless. No, I have never heard this song… yet.
* To the best of Metal Odyssey’s Metal knowledge, Arcade’s debut album – Arcade is out of print. Used copies are circulating for sale all around the world wide web. (I’ve seen used copies on Amazon Music).