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Out of the Cellar
Released: 1984, Atlantic Records
Classic Pick of the Month
One thing I’ve learned thanks to the development of the internet, and especially programs that allow you to instant message someone, is that Europeans think Americans know nothing about metal. No telling how many times I’ve been told by some German or Dutch fan that I’m no metalhead because I‘ve never heard of some obscure black metal band called Whoremonger or yet another power metal clone called DragonFlame. Imagine my surprise when I get around to mentioning a great album like Out of the Cellar and these people haven’t got a clue who RATT are. And Americans know nothing about metal?
Four elements make OOTC one of the best metal albums of the 80s. First, the voice of Stephen Pearcy. It’s totally unique and making a comparison to another vocalist so as to provide context is damn near impossible. Raspy and bluesy, yet totally metal. Then comes the sweet licks of guitarist Warren De Martini. He’s one of the most underrated shredders of the 80s. Third, the talent level of the individual musicians that made up the band was second to none. RATT had great chemistry as a unit. In addition, with the exception of drummer Bobby Blotzer, each of these guys was a gifted songwriter in their own right. A quick glance at the credits shows everyone played a part. Finally, the production on this album is superb. It sounds fantastic even to this day.
Rather than review each song, or name a few that stand out, the best way to illustrate how good this album is to relate something from a couple years back. I’d just gotten a CD burner for my PC and had decided to make some “best of” compilations to take on trips. As I was putting together a list of songs from each band, I had problems with some bands trying to narrow down the selections so everything could fit on one CD. I had an unusual dilemma when it came to RATT. I couldn’t justify leaving a single song from OOTC off of the CD. They’re all that good. I solved my problem in the end though. I made my RATT compilation into a two CD set.
RATT has been unfairly lumped into the glam genre, mainly because of the timing of their success (ie, the early 80s LA scene) and the fact that they did dress the part. But the bottom line is, it’s the music that counts. RATT always stuck to their guns, even while others became rich writing sappy ballads and catchy pop choruses. In the end, RATT’s demise came because they couldn’t maintain the consistently great songwriting they showed on the their first four albums, not because they prostituted themselves to the gods of commercialism. OOTC belongs in your metal collection.
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