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Out of the Cellar

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★★★★½
(70 Reviews)

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  • I was first introduced to Ratt on Friday Night Videos in 1984 when they first showed the video for “Round and Round.” (You know, that really cool video with Milton Berle!) I liked the song immediately, and it didn’t take more than the next 3 times I heard it to make me badly want to get the album “Out Of The Cellar.” Just before I did, I had already heard the follow-up single “Back For More.” ANOTHER killer track!! I bought the album, and it remained one of my most-played albums that year. The above two songs were my favorite, plus I also liked “You’re In Trouble” and “Wanted Man”. Sorry, but “Lack of Communication” never did it for me, I basically refer to it as “Lackluster Communication.”Ratt was a group that had a glam image, but were certainly not a bubblegum group by any means. They had a good, crunchy sound; more melodic than the Crue and no less talented. Ratt was also never one to ride on anybody’s coattails. I’ve always found it interesting that as soon as they became big, they distanced themselves from other L.A.-based heavy metal bands. (You would have expected a young band like them to do the opposite.) First of all, they described themselves as hard rock, and they went out of their way to distance themselves from the “heavy metal” category. In fact, lead singer Stephen Pearcy STILL maintains that Ratt was not really a heavy metal band at all, just a regular hard rock band. Whether or not this would accurately describe their style of music I guess is a matter of personal taste, and is therefore subjective. In any case, I have always respected them for being very non-pretensious about themselves. Listen to their music and decide for yourself what they are. :) I do agree very much with the earlier reviewer, who said that the real secret of this band was the rhythmic groove they provided, in the form of bassist Juan Croucier and drummer Bobby Blotzer (who was such a madman on drums, and probably one of the strongest drummers of his time). Of course, this is to take nothing away from Warren DeMartini’s talent on lead guitar: I’ve always admired his fluid, effortless style of playing. Robin Crosby played a steady rhythm guitar, and occasionally traded off some pretty mean leads with Warren DeMartini (like on “Round and Round”). Stephen Pearcy has always been a decent rock ‘n’ roll singer/screamer. Sure, he’ll never be counted among the true greats (Plant, Halford, Dickinson), but how many hard rock singers can say that they’ve been doing this for 20 years the way Pearcy has?After this album, Ratt would go on to record several others, each of them having at least 2 or 3 certifiable rock ‘n’ roll hits. Over time, they have amassed a pretty impressive collection of great songs…call them hard rock or heavy metal, one thing’s for sure: Ratt have been, for the past 20 years, one of the most consistently good rock ‘n’ roll bands around. They are instantly recognizable without being repetitious. Ratt rocks!! :)

    Posted on November 11, 2009