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Ratt - 'Out Of The Cellar' / 'Dancing Undercover' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/53/4d/aa/ratt-out-of-the-cellar-63-1412888547.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     October 09, 2014    
 
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Reissues ot two classic Ratt albums.

After an attention-grabbing, Aerosmith-influenced, independent EP in 1983, Ratt hit pay dirt the following year with their multi-million selling major label debut ‘Out Of The Cellar’. Not only did they have the perfect blend of power and melody required at the time, they had the big choruses and image necessary for the emergent MTV medium to take them to their hearts and follow in the footsteps of fellow L.A. peers Mötley Crüe and Quiet Riot.

Relatively inexperienced producer Beau Hill was the perfect partner to help them with arrangements and dynamics, giving the band an infectious groove to the rhythm section of bassist Juan Croucier and drummer Bobby Blotzer that sat beneath the dense twin guitars of the late Robbin Crosby and the biggest gun in their arsenal; lead guitarist Warren DeMartini. Vocalist Stephen Pearcy has always been an easy target for their detractors and his limited range and screechy tone (and his subsequent personal problems with the other members are still apparent in 2014), but for some reason his voice gave Ratt a unique and original twist that really fitted catchy songs like ‘Wanted Man’, ‘You’re In Trouble’ and their breakthrough earworm ‘Round And Round’.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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They could really Rock out too with ‘In Your Direction’, ‘Lack Of Communication’, ‘The Morning After’ and ‘I’m Insane’ and whilst they eschewed the usual power ballad route to success, both ‘Back For More’ and ‘Scene Of The Crime’ were a little more melodically structured and showed plenty of maturity in the writing. In my humble opinion ‘...Cellar’ is a top three album from the entire scene; the classic riffs and solos announcing DeMartini as a major star, with the new re-master bringing out some awesome lead playing that was somewhat buried by Hill on the original release.

Unusually the Rock Candy people have skipped over Ratt’s popular second release ‘Invasion Of Your Privacy’ for the following 1986 opus ‘Dancing Undercover’, which is unfortunately where the Ratt success story started to go sour despite it being another good, kick-ass album. Hill had grown as a producer, giving the record an even punchier sound, but despite some great riffs and a totally upbeat vibe, the likes of the infectious ‘Dance’ and ‘Body Talk’ were relative failures as singles and the album sold poorly. The sleeve interviews with DeMartini and Hill tell the grim story of a band falling apart, with only Hill’s work ethic turning what could have been a disaster into a pretty strong album. ‘One Good Lover’, ‘Drive Me Crazy’, ‘Looking For Love’ and ‘Enough Is Enough’ are other highlights of a pretty strong whole and here sound better than ever; but like Dokken, Crüe and most other bands of their era, intense friction can sometimes lead to good music.

Phil Ashcroft

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