Heavy and earnest and sounds like they actually mean it

After a decade or so when most people couldn’t have cared less about them and the few who did had no idea what was going on, Ratt has somehow managed to crawl out of the various holes they dropped into in the aftermath of their golden age.

Following a series of dramas that almost made the Guns N’ Roses saga look petty, Bobby Blotzer and Warren DeMartini finally reunited with Stephen Pearcy a little while back. Having since brought in Carlos Cavazo for some extra guitar flair (and say what you like about bands of this nature, but they always had that), the newly-resurrected band has delivered Infestation as their seventh full-length release.

DeMartini has suggested that Ratt was aiming for something that would fit into the Out of the Cellar/Invasion of Your Privacy section of their oeuvre (and why not? They’re the only Ratt albums anyone gives a shit about), potentially a big ask 25 years down the track. While they haven’t been able to pull that off, Infestation is actually not too bad. That this will be a heavy and dirty-sounding album is immediately apparent in the driving, angry riffing of “Eat Me Up Alive” and “Best Of Me”, and if Infestation has one thing going for it, it is the aggressive feel that pervades throughout. The pop-ish hooks in the likes of “Little Too Much” and “Look Out Below” are classic Ratt and with Cavazo on deck alongside DeMartini flashy guitar work is the order of the day. Really, these two are the stars here: the songs don’t have quite enough hooks to sustain repeated listenings and the lyrics are the same throwaway party anthems they always did. Stephen Pearcy is still the worst singer to have come out of the LA scene but the gang vocals are sufficiently strong enough to prop him up. Naturally, the balladic “Take Me Home” is terrible, continuing another Ratt legacy.

This is really a record for the fans, and one that fans will definitely enjoy. It’s heavy and earnest and sounds like they actually mean it, with the feel of their classic hit period, so on that level it succeeds. The strength of the songs overall lets it down, however, with naught but the first two or three really being that memorable. Still, this is an album the likes of which their fans probably thought they would never hear again, and that will make plenty of them happy.

1. Eat Me Up Alive
2. Best of Me
3. A Little Too Much
4. Look Out Below
5. Last Call
6. Lost Weekend
7. As Good as it Gets
8. Garden of Eden
9. Take a Big Bite
10. Take Me Home
11. Don’t Let Go