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.