Games Meet Metal: Ratt's Infestation: The Riff Review

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Friday, April 23, 2010

Ratt's Infestation: The Riff Review

As I've stated before, I have a soft spot for certain hair metal. The glam rock of the 80's was where a zit-covered younger version of myself got his first taste of metal, long before Metallica and Megadeth would corrupt me even further. While there's a huge glut of 80's stuff I would never touch again today (I still question my sanity as to why I bought Winger on cassette), there's still a few that I still gladly listen to. Motley Crue, Skid Row, and of course, Ratt are on that list. Now for the most part, I found most of the new material from these bands to be quite horrible. Crue's last album was acidic vomit on cd, and any music with Skid Row that doesn't feature Sebastian Bach isn't worth my time or yours.

Then Ratt releases Infestation, and becomes the C-C-C-COMBO BREAKER of new crappy metal music. In other words, this shit's rockin!

One look at the album's track listing, and you know you're waving bye-bye to blast beats and melodic Swedish guitar solos for the next 40 or so minutes. "Garden of Eden", "A Little Too Much", and "Eat Me Up Alive" don't exactly invoke thoughts of The Divine Comedy, but of a simpler time when you didn't need to damn God every two seconds. Hey, pointing the finger at Jehova's all well and good, but sometimes you just want to talk about chicks in spandex, and Ratt knows that. That message is best felt in "Take Me Home", the closest thing the cd comes to a ballad. While it starts off all nice and sweet, the lyrics clearly state that this guy's just trying to get this girl back to her place and shag her like crazy. Ah, pure 80's.

A few notes of praise must also be given to the musicians. Warren DeMartini and Carlos Carvaso play off of each other very well, and DeMartini's leads are 80's perfect without being too cheesy. Then there's Stephen Pearcy. Infestation is his big return to the band, and he brings his gravel-filled voice back to it's prime. It's actually amazing how well Stephen's voice has aged over time. Give it to the fact that Mr. Pearcy was never a high-pitched wailer, thus keeping his trademark lower register in prime condition.

It's a very relieving thing that Infestation is such a good cd, especially for a band that many had written off a while ago. It's even more incredible since Ratt probably didn't need to put any effort into it. They know their demographic and who's going to buy this music. Motley Crue knows their fans too, but they're more than willing to put out utter crap just to get a few extra bucks. Not Ratt. They want to show you they have something to prove. They also want to invite your girlfriend into the bus, while you wait outside.

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