Ratt’s new release Infestation (due out April 20th on RoadRunner Records) is a welcome return to their much celebrated sound, with an intensity that is both urgent and well-devised. In short, this album really rocks. Following a fantastic trend, Ratt toured behind an anniversary of their seminal juggernaut Out Of The Cellar, playing it in its entirety (you should remember that when a classic record first breaks, bands rarely preform it complete). What I believe this did for Ratt (as well as others) is it got their blood moving in the direction of what it was that made them blow up in the first place. Therein is the magic of Infestation, an 11 track straight rock-and-roll record guaranteed to please even a casual Ratt fan. Credit and due must be given to Michael (Elvis) Baskette for ignoring all temptations that contemporary production offers (pitch correctors, drum loops , etc.). Stephen Pearcy has never had what people consider a great voice (which is exactly what’s great about it!); and I always felt he had a voice almost more suited to punk than hard rock – maybe that’s what cornered the market all these years for Ratt with their Sunset Blvd. alley-cat brand of stiff rock and roll. It is Pearcy’s unforgettable growl that makes even the softer tracks, like track two’s Best Of Me, still retain enough grit to keep it safely out of ballad land. Warren Demartini is fantastic as always (he is so much of the Ratt sound we know and love). He really seems like he is energized on this new outing, with blazing riffs aplenty. Another thing to note is how great the drums sound: they are panned perfectly and really give you a sense of what drummer Bobby Blotzer is selling. Keeping the low end in line is Robbie Craneon on bass, while on guitar number two – the uber awesome Carlos Cavazo of the late great Quiet Riot – shows absolutely why he was the perfect choice to fill out the lineup. Track one, Eat Me Up, kicks it off just the way a rock record should: it gives you hope that there will be more of the same to follow… There is – in spades! Most specifically, A Little Too Much, Lost Weekend, Take A Big Bite, and Don’t Let Go. The big anthem (and yes, for a record like this you must have a big anthem) is without a doubt Take Me Home; a homage to the lighters in the air (well I guess cell phones now). Bang your head halfway, well maybe more like a nod really that says I have feelings but you can still suck it. Over the years I have heard Ratt detractors say, “All Ratt songs sound alike – ya know, like Round and Round.” My answer to that is you should hope they do because that sound and that song is a perfect example of what uncompromising rock-and-roll sounds like. In reality I do not agree that all Ratt songs sound the same, but I will say: much like Out Of The Cellar, there is a very nice cohesion to Infestation; it plays like it should: like a record with an A side and a B side. On the strength of this new release I will be reviewing the CD release party and concert as well, and if this stuff comes off live as it should, it will be one kick ass night! It’s been 26 years since Out Of The Cellar blew out the speakers, and this new record begs the question: Can Ratt-and-roll ever die? I hope it doesn’t for a long, long time.
I used to be a Ratt fan and now I am again and it feels great!
“Round and round, what comes around goes around. I’ll tell you why” Dig.

4 out of 5 Anarchy Speakers

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