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Out of the Cellar

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  • Los Angeles’ Ratt. Ahhh yes, the yin to Motley Crue’s L.A. yang. The band with a singer that was constantly hidden behind aqua-netted shag (did Stephen Pearcy even have eyes?) and a sound that convinced millions that Aerosmith had started wearing women’s clothing. Ratt was one head-bangin’ band in 1984 and their smoldering debut LP served up a handful of songs that threated to rip the fabric right off of your parents speakers. A quick listen to this album today reveals that while aesthetically, Ratt has in no way dated well, their sound was indeed the real deal. Armed with hooks that could hang with the best of them and guitar solos that sounded like Warren DeMartini’s guitar had been sitting on a stove, Ratt’s sound was state-of-the-art hair metal (still a progressive concept in 1984). While “Round and Round” grabbed the attention of radio, it also denied songs like “Lack of Communication” and “Back for More” the acclaim that they deserved. Interestingly, the opener “Wanted Man” explodes with huge power chords that seem to be announcing Ratt’s dominance on the sunset-strip (albeit briefly), while the song’s “cowboy/outlaw” lyrical material (handed down from Aerosmith) soon became a reigning commonality in L.A. metal’s radio anthems. The sleeper song on the album and also perhaps it’s grittiest (perhaps even best) is the Robbin Crosby-penned “I’m Insane”, which pounds fervently with a punkish-attitude that gives Pearcy’s lyrics an air of credibility (something he didn’t always have). “Out of the Cellar” stands as Ratt’s finest LP and a true gem in the L.A. metal genre. Those who can get past the album’s dated quality and the band’s gruesome looks will be rewarded with energetic and youthful tunes that threatened to conquer Los Angeles in 1984. They don’t make them like this anymore.

    Posted on November 12, 2009