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Ratt - Infestation Award winner

Ratt
Infestation
by Grigoris Chronis at 14 April 2010, 10:04 PM

RATT’s myth is way much more fat than many can (or have) ever imagine(d). The American rockers are classically credited as among the primal godfathers of the whole 80s ‘hair’ Metal scene sprung in America plus some of their most trademark cuts are ranked between all-time Hard ‘n’ Heavy beloved anthems worldwide. The legacy of the reunited RATT is already a fact; just look at the glam/sleaze/hard Rock revival in both America and Northern Europe and you’ll not escape the (original) quintet’s vital input.


When RATT ruled the world it was many many years ago, I agree. Yet, the songwriting talent and bombastic production in most of the outfit’s 80s works (cannot e.g. compare the “Invasion Of Your Privacy” 1985 album’s breathtaking sound and volume easily to some other genre-related release ever) made it essential to be involved with these San Diego, CA vagabonds. The chase for even more commercial success – in the core fans’ eyes – as hunted through an e.g. promising collaboration with Desmond Child for 1990’s “Detonator” album may have been a short-lived breakthrough to the masses but for whoever still feels trapped to their clever razorblade sound then this 1990 swan ‘original lineup’ release probably was the tombstone for everything around classic RATT (a fine album, anyway, but that’s not the case here).


Two decades included the separation of this winning team, two ‘unstable’ CDs in the 90s, the sad death of guitarist Robbin Crosby in 2002, frontman Stephen Pearcy’s unsure solo career and various freakin’ comments regarding a reunion that would not happen…until now. With 60% of the original lineup present, Carlos Cavazo (famous for his deeds with fellow US hardrockers QUIET RIOT) and Robbie Crane (has worked with Vince Neil and Steven Adler) fill up for the missing personnel and “Infestation” is now out on the prowl, produced by Elvis Baskette, and ready to deliver the goods if you still are (or feel) young enough to rock steady. To be honest, I did not expect such a good comeback release by a long defunct band, even if RATT was, is and will always be a favorite band to my ears. Let’s move to the scene of the crime.


Songwriting/performance: here are some of the most inspired songs I’ve listened from RATT’s hands in their whole career. “Eat Me Up Alive” (feel like You’re In Love?), “Best Of Me” (the first single/video), “Lost Weekend” (some rollin’ thunder), “As Good As It Gets” (the Blues vibe is here) and “Take A Big Bite” are vivid examples of what this band can do if they feel good doing so. Various times I recalled the glorious “Out Of The Cellar”-to-“Dancing Undercover” days: is it due to the surprisingly astonishing riffs/leads (don’t know which parts are credited to Cavazo, though) flirting both with the band’s past but also deploying an artistic guitar weaponry non-time dependable? Or is it also due to the trustworthy singing of Stephen, since his solo works are now pale comparisons in contrast to his vocals in “Infestation”? On the other had, who cares? Most – if not all - of the tracklist is fresh and traditional at the same time while enough choruses and hooks climb up being as radio friendly as the whole Sunset Strip was once back then.


Sound: here comes the sunshine again. The work done in this new album if really wonderful. Really did not expect “Infestation” to be treated with such affection for the band’s past but also rude love bearing today’s digital/compressed standards in mind. Everything is crystal clear, the mix is ideal (especially in the vocals and leads section) and the total result is more than attractive, trust me. RATT always exposed a heavymetallic Hard Rock sound and “Infestation” is now added to this shiny catalogue in full pride.


Drawbacks: a couple of songs could have been omitted, to tell the truth (the last couple, maybe?). Nothing more to grumble about…


If rebirths have some reason to exist, RATT and “Infestation” is a principle example. The new album of these Americans is as good as you’d never believe. Heavy, rockin’, uniting, modern/retro, firing and…Ratt ‘n’ Roll as we know it! Really feel relieved this reunion has worked; these boys are hungry!

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
  1. Eat Me Up Alive
  2. Best Of Me
  3. A Little Too Much
  4. Look Out Below
  5. Last Call
  6. Lost Weekend
  7. As Good As It Gets
  8. Garden Of Eden
  9. Take A Big Bite
  10. Take Me Home
  11. Don’t Let Go
Lineup:
Stephen Pearcy - Lead Vocals
Warren DeMartini - Guitar
Carlos Cavazo - Guitar
Robbie Crane - Bass
Bobby Blotzer - Drums
Record Label: Loud & Proud/Roadrunner Records
     


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Edited 02 June 2020
 

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