Ratt - Infestation
Roadrunner Records
Hard Rock/Glam Metal
11 songs (42'08")
Release year: 2010
Roadrunner Records
Reviewed by Erik

Ratt is back! Yes, ok, usually when an 80s rock/metal band claims to be "back" with a new record, the results are disastrous. Warrant? Not really. Poison? Close, but no. Skid Row? What, are you joking? Cinderella? Who are they again? The magic and raw energy that the 80s and early 90s produced is like the proverbial unicorn for most of those bands today -- impossible to capture.

I'll be honest, I grabbed Infestation on a recommendation from a friend, because otherwise I would have dismissed it (as a great many will, unfortunately) as rubbish from the start. But he insisted, so I pretended to agree, and it was naturally neglected for awhile. When I did get around to playing it, likely out of pure boredom, I was astounded.

What I heard was Out Of The Cellar, Part 2. Now, most fans wrote this band off about 1992, when lead singer Stephen Pearcy left the band and the last several releases had flopped. Everybody else sort of scattered, and Ratt disappeared. Not even "reunions" brought back the flame. So what flowed through my headphones that day was truly refreshing.

Imagine the best parts of Out Of The Cellar and Invasion Of Your Privacy with a sprinkling of Dancing Undercover. Add ex-Quiet Riot axeman Carlos Cavazo, tight riffing, great melodies, and what you have is a very good record, ranking as one of the best glam metal albums -- certainly the best comeback album! Pearcy hasn't lost a bit of the tone and delivery, and "Warren DeMartini will always be one of rock's best guitar players", as Sebastian Bach has stated. The guy can solo and shred with the best of them. Hearing them crank out searing tunes together again is magical.

You are greeting in the opening seconds of Eat Me Up Alive with an ageless riff, and as soon as the band kicks in and Pearcy lets loose, you know everything will be as it once was. Likely one of the best tracks here, this opening number sets the bar back up with authority, and the rest of the album is just as infectious and spirited. Even the more mid-paced titles like As Good As It Gets ooze charm and charisma. LA hair metal lives once again! Bringing back the fire after that much time -- much of it split up -- is nearly impossible, not only from a performance standpoint, but also from the scope of fan perspective. Will the audience still be the same as 1985?

One thing is certain: Ratt can still rock and party. Spin Look Out Below or Take A Big Bite and see if some body movement doesn't start happening. Milton Berle is no doubt chuckling posthumously. Best Of Me, Garden Of Eden, the list goes on . . . pure, driving Ratt metal, song after song. Lyrical content ranges from the silly to the serious (whoa, they talk about monogamy?), but at no point are you confronted with any certain belief or viewpoint. This is still glam metal, and Infestation is a gritty, heavy, galloping, energy-filled attitude-drenched return to the roots of an influential band.

Killing Songs :
All except the ballad Take Me Home
Erik quoted 88 / 100
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