Ratt – Infestation
Released April 20, 2010
For years fans of 80’s metal have been waiting for the sound they loved so much to return. Time after time, year after year and album by album, we’ve been disappointed by records that left us wanting. We can only blame the Seattle grunge scene so much, before we face the fact that in many ways, we moved on as a generation. But always in our hearts, we craved. Those classic bands with their classic songs have kept us yearning, and like the long cold winter Cinderella once sang of, 2009 began to melt the frost and unveil a return to timeless riff and melody driven 80’s hair metal.
New bands like Taking Dawn and Halestorm have taken their influence from that era and blended it with their own modern sound, and offered fans promise of a rebirth. Last year also saw new CDs from bands like KISS and Danger Danger, which harken back to the style and sound that made them among the best in an iconic genre.
The resurgence continues in 2010. Those classic bands we fell in love with some 25 years ago are not only touring again, but creating new music with their signature sound. Over the last month, bands like Krokus and Overkill have released their best new records in decades. This month the Scorpions will unleash their mammoth final CD, Sting in the Tail, and April will bring us the highly and long anticipated return of vintage RATT!
Ratt were among the pioneers of Los Angeles based hair metal. They scurried down Hollywood’s Sunset Strip and were among the founding fathers of the sound and scene which developed on those legendary sidewalks.
Ratt’s new CD, Infestation hits the streets on April 20th, but the first single “Best Of Me,” answers the call for fans who have been hungering for a taste; a morsel to feed that Ratt and Roll addiction. “Best Of Me,” is prototypical mid-80’s Ratt that would have fit nicely on any of their early works like Out of The Cellar and Invasion of Your Privacy. This is the band’s best album in over two decades.
Stephen Pearcy’s voice sounds as good today as it did when he took us “Round and Round” in 1983. Warren DeMartini is still shredtastic, and new guitarist Carlos Cavazo (Quiet Riot) slips right into the band’s signature bluesy groove. Bobby Blotzer is still a skin pounding madman behind the kit, and bassist Robbie Crane keeps the rhythm lockstep with Blotzer. The two really shine on the grinding, “Take A Big Bite.”
The album’s opening track “Eat Me Up Alive” has that “You’re In Love” vibe, and is immediately addictive. Likewise, “Lost Weekend” is pure retro-modern Ratt. Is that possible? Yes it is.
“Last Call” drives into a tasty rolling riff line and hits home with a nice wall-o harmony chorus, and Pearcy’s trademark vocal embellishments. The song recalls the band’s classic, “Way Cool Jr.”
Songs like “Garden of Eden” and “A Little Too Much” wind you up with scorching guitar licks, thunderous rhythms, and Ratt’s trademark infectious hooks.
The album, which was recorded with producer Elvis Baskette (Taking Dawn, Incubus, Chevelle, Alterbridge), and will be released by Road Runner/Loud & Proud Records, is a full 11 tracks of bluesy, rocking, and feel good 80’s hair metal, with a fuller sound and better production then we’ve ever heard on a Ratt album. Baskette dragged the quintet from the safe haven of its L.A. roots to the shores of Virginia for the recording of Infestation. A first for the band. The experiment paid off. Modern Ratt will drag you right back into the Sunset Strip gutters, with big hair licks, and denim and leather rhythms.
After hearing the new album’s rich sound, I only wish the band had gone back and re-recorded their classic hits as a companion disc to go with it.
Ratt have rediscovered themselves with Infestation, and their strengths and talents are on clear display for all to hear. Some might say they have reinvented themselves as well, but the truth is, a Ratt never loses it’s way, it simply hides in the dark waiting for the precise moment to re-emerge. That time April 20th, 2010; the day of Infestation!
To celebrate the release of the new album, the band will perform a special Red Carpet record release party and show at the Key Club in West Hollywood on the April 20th release date. Look out Hollywood, the Ratts are back in town!
April 20th is so far away it seems. To quote Tom Petty, ‘the waiting is the hardest part.” So to keep your Ratt hunger fed, here’s a fan recorded clip from this year’s NAMM show with the new line-up.