Monday, June 18, 2007

Ratt-s/t, 1999

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Actually "Collage" came out two years before this, but it was actually a collection of previously unreleased tracks and remixes. So this was Ratt's first album of all new music in nine years. There's no Robin Crosby as Warren DeMartini is the lone guitarist on this recording. Stephen Pearcy and Bobby Blotzer were back, but former Vince Neil bass player Robbie Crane took the bass slot formerly occupied by Juan Croucier. During their albums 1983 to 1990 I would say Ratt were one of the most consistent hard rock bands around. After that the first Arcade album that Stephen Pearcy did was pretty good as well. So I might have bet on this being a good reunion album. Fortunately I didn't bet money on that because I would have lost. I rescued this cd from the dollar bin a few years back. "Over the edge" comes on with a blues hard rock sound and although nothing new, it's interesting enough. Then I begin to drift because "Live for today" and "Gave up givin up" are both fairly flat and generic. "We don't belong" starts out promising, but they just don't vary enough for it to work plus it lumbers on for over six minutes. "Breakout" is a little better as the band moves ahead slightly yet it would be one of the weaker tracks had it been on any of their albums during their first run. Okay, "Tug of war" is fairly decent with finally some emotion from Pearcy and the band finally figured out how to sound fired up. "Dead reckoning" seems to tease me as it has moments where it seems like it might work, but then they lose it and falls into being dull and kind of sloppy. "Luv sick" sounds like it could have been on Detonator and why it rocks more than most of the other tracks it's also a little more repetitive than I would have liked. "It ain't easy" is probably my favorite track and it's far and away the best attempt of merging Ratt's old style with some slightly newer direction. It's light weight, but it's solid. "All the way" sound like something you would hear some bar band playing around 1986. Not awful per se, but it doesn't sound like premium material for anyone. "So good, so fine" tries to move, but it sounds very pale compared to any of Ratt's older material that's played at this tempo. Overall this is just an alright album and that's a shame considering I liked all of their albums from their first run. Much of the material here is just watered down and lacking any real distinct flavor. Considering the band line-up, I expected more.

***Reunion album week continues on Tuesday with a double dose. I will review Lizzy Borden's Deal with the devil and have up a reunion album version of Judge the album cover.


Blogger bob_vinyl said...

I bet they really missed Robin Crosby. He was such a good compliment to Warren DeMartini. Not. Even though the line-up changes probably didn't matter, I can't say I'd be knocking down the door to hear this one. To me, Ratt was really just a catchy vehicle for DeMartini's playing which was pretty good.

8:22 PM  
Blogger David Amulet said...

I agree 100% on the solid, steady nature of Ratt's first four or five releases (I remain mixed on Detonator). But after that run, nothing really good has happened.

-- david

2:59 AM  
Blogger captain corky said...

Ratt was pretty big when I was in high school. I can't believe they did an album in 1999.

5:10 AM  
Blogger aXe mAn said...

I liked all of their albums up through "Detonator". That was good to, but not much after that.

Good review Mark. Keep it up man.

6:16 AM  
Blogger Metal Mark said...

Bob-Ratt were not as in your face as Motley Crue in their prime. However they were solid, steady and I think Stephen Pearcy had a unique voice.

David-I like Detonator quit a bit, but I know it's different from the previous albums.

Captain Corky-Almost everyone who was around in the 80's seems to have done an album in the last say eight or nine years. Not a lot of them are much good though.

axe man-Thanks.

I guess I should say that I like this s/t 1999 album better now than when I first heard it and was worth the $1 I paid for it.

1:42 PM  
Blogger Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

This is one of the ones I didn't pursue; in fact, it may be the only studio album of theirs I don't have. I remember it being so-so.

8:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got caught in the hype of the reunion and tour with Poison. I bought this album the day it came out and thought it was average. Not one I reach for when I want to listen to Ratt.

12:04 AM  
Blogger Hard Rock Hideout said...

I found this disc highly disappointing. I had my hopes up high, as I have always loved this band, but this is probably the worst CD in the RATT discography.

Rob Rockitt
Hard Rock Hideout

8:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First off, I read your blogs often, but this is my first time responding. I'm an old school metalhead from the '80s, who still loves to listen to great old school metal bands.

But I have to defend this album. I had all of Ratt's albums, with the exception of Detonator, at one time or another. They were never my favorite band, but I obviously liked them enough to follow them throughout the '80s.

My main complaint about them was that they never seemed to evolve, they just kept making the same album over and over. They peaked with "Cellar" and "Invasion", but after that they seemed stuck in a rut.

The '99 comeback wasn't meant to compete with their older stuff, but, to me, it was aimed at their old fans who were now thirty-somethings. It was a much more "grown-up" album, and was full of great moments. Great music to kick back with a beer on a Sunday afternoon.

I agree that "It Ain't Easy" is the best song here. I also love "Tug Of War", "Dead Reckoning", and "So Good, So Fine". The only songs I don't care much for are "Live For Today" and "Luv Sick".

1:42 PM  
Blogger Metal Mark said...

Ray-I saw it sitting numerous times in teh bargain bin before I finally grabbed it.

rhoadislandrock-No,I don't reach for it much either.

hard rock hideout-I can't argue that.

Pete-Welcome. You are absolutely right about Ratt not growing. They were consistant, but they played it safe. That's why their popularity drooped some with Reach for the sky and Detonator. My biggest problem with this s/t album is not that's it's different from 80's Ratt, but rather that it's dull. To me most of it doesn't rock, move or intrigue me and it should have.

8:01 PM  

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