Ratt – Infestation (Roadrunner) – CD review –
After sputtering for almost 20 years, Ratt finally has a CD they can be proud of.
It is dangerous territory trying to relive your past. Many bands attempt it, and most fall flat on their faces. Yet, with Infestation (Roadrunner), their first studio effort in 11 years, Ratt has set the “way back” machine to the mid 80’s and turned in their best effort in years.
Really, it’s simple: latter-day Ratt failed because they messed with their formula; whether trying to be bluesy or dancey, either way, it wasn’t what they did best. With Infestation, only their seventh overall, they concentrate on their strengths: crunching guitars, wailing twin leads (with the tasty addition of Quiet Riot axeman Carlos Cavazo), and catchy, melodic choruses, all traits of the band’s best work in the mid-80’s, way before flannel became the rage.
At least some of the credit must be given to producer Elvis Baskette, who resists the temptation to update the glam metal band’s sound. Instead, he captures a group that sounds downright re-energized. The album’s first single, “Best of Me,” is a pop-metal gem, complete with chiming chorus, sadly missing in rock for years. It’s as if the 20 years of hell the band went through actually benefited these guys. — Tony Peters