By the time Ratt released this self titled cd in 1999, the original lineup of Pearcy, Crosby, DeMartini, Crocuier and Blotzer were no more. In fact, they had not been “anything” throughout the 90’s…period. Ratt disbanded in the early 90’s, as they, like many of their collegues, fell victim to Grunge and it’s wrinkled-flanel wearing fans. After Cobain and his band, Nirvana broke through, the anthem-driven “Hair Rock” of that generation,as well as Ratt, quietly packed their Jackson and Charvel guitars neatly away in their designated cases and left town on nothing more than a whisper….that was it…done…or so we thought.
Fast-foward to 1999. After an attempt at a “comeback” CD, that did absolutely nothing, the self titled Ratt, received almost no-promotion and/or airplay. Over the Edge was played on our rock station for about the first 2 months, then….that was it. But, it really wasen’t a “comeback” at all. The only ones left in the band were DeMartini, Pearcy and Blotzer. Crocuier and Crosby were left out of the loop…AND IT SHOWS! Bigtime! After all, if one listens to the first two albums, you can tell where the strength in songwriting came from…here’s a hint, it didn’t come from the remaining members. Crocuier left due to frustration with the Ratt pack and Crosby, by this time was ill from HIV (he fell victim to Heroin addiction and a bad needle). Although, Crosby was initially included in the plans for a reunion, it was decided by “the powers that be” that his talents were not neccesary. AND IT SHOWS!
Now, before all the DeMartini fanatics start plotting my death, let me explain. I am not bashing Warren at all. I think he is a great guitarists, for that genre. And I am not talking about who is better than whom. We all know that Warren’s “solos” fit that style better than Crosby’s (although the “King” had some great solos of his own), what I am talking about is the Songs. Most songs that co-written or written by Crosby and/or Crocuier were strong, punchy, and very well structured..with all due respect to the others in the band. But perhaps, the most noticable fault with this release is the absence of another guitarist, be it Robbin or anyome else….AND IT SHOWS! Sorry….no matter how good Warren is, he cannot pull the entire guitar load by himself…it just doesn’t work (which is why he asked John Corabi to join as the second guitarists, i’m sure…). Yes, there is such a thing as overdubs to make it sound like two rhythms, but if the same guitarist is playing both parts, it still sounds like one guitarist. I saw Ratt for the previous cd/tour…and they were TERRIBLE with a capitol T! Horrible! Pearcy was literally HANGING from the microphone and leaning on the mic stand cause he was very drunk, and Warren was trying very hard to be two guitarists, and wasen’t cuttin’ it. You could see he was fumbling with the parts that he once shared with Crosby. So, my theory comes from first hand, they need two guitarists.
As for the album, it was written with the same feel as the others, while trying to capture the newer alternative sound. Some songs work, some don’t. About the first 6 are decent, after that it’s a mudslide all the way to the bottom. Songs like Live for today, Over the Edge, Gave Up Givin’ Up are typical Ratt, Catchy-pop oriented Riffs with that sunny California feel, and they are good tunes, but there is something missing…and I think I already covered that matter in great detail…