Released: 2010, Roadrunner Records
Ratt is Metal. Always have been and likely always will be. From their appearance on the very first Metal Massacre compilation in 1981 alongside the likes of (Metallica, Malice and Bitch) to the new 2010 album, Ratt have always been among the heaviest of the so-called hair bands. So despite what the revisionists at Metal Archives think, Ratt have a firm spot in the development and evolution of the Heavy Metal genre.
Initial response to the new album is overwhelmingly positive. They have hit #30 on Billboard. Not bad for a band that was allegedly dead-in-the water, drowning in lawsuits and in-fighting. The once waterlogged rodent has been rescued by Roadrunner Records. Some early commentary suggests that it is the best record they have done in 10 years. Well, it’s the ONLY record they have done in ten years! The 1999 self-titled album was a bit of misstep after the string of five platinum studio albums in a row. Roadrunner now has a cool band on their roster! Maybe Roadrunner Records are turning the corner, back to the good? Time will tell.
The packaging could have used work but Ratt has always suffered from some pretty lame album album covers. You can barely read the track listing on the back. No lyrics, hard to read font and some blurry photos make for a weak presentation.
Sonically the Ratt Pack is back! The band had stated they wanted a real up-tempo record and distinctly aimed for the classic sound. They nailed it. It’s all there, the swagger and slight sneer of Pearcy voice, the fluid and fiery soloing of DeMartini’s axe-work, the complimentary work of Cavazo…it’s a beautiful thing to behold. Cavazo even contributes writing credits for two of the better songs on the record, ‘Eat Me Up Alive’ and ‘Best Of You’. The latter has the potential to be the feel-good cruising hit of the summer and the former is among the heaviest thing the band has ever recorded.
I’m so pleased these guys are back in action. Great songs, they have regained some credibility and maintained the dirty edge they always possessed and they make it seem natural and unforced. INFESTATION is well worth your attention and sure to delight any Ratt fan of old.