Ratt. The name of this band alone brings to mind images of cheesy stage moves like that guitar twirl thing and hair, lots and lots of hair. Yet as far as hair metal goes, Ratt was right at the top of the heap, thanks in large part to the distinct voice of Stephen Pearcy and the quality guitar work of Warren Demartini. The band started in San Diego as Mickey Ratt, but eventually dropped the Mickey, become Ratt. My interest in this band, and particularly this album, their first EP, was cultivated when I read this news article talking about CDs and how certain CDs were now rare, one of them being Ratt’s Out of the Cellar. Every time I went to a music store after that, for a couple months, I’d look for the CD, just to see if I could find it, but I wouldn’t. Then one glorious day, I was in Tower, and I found it. Ah, dreams really do come true. Onto the music.
Like any pop/hair/stereotypical 80’s metal album, this one is full of nice hooks and catchy tunes. The guitar work is top notch, but I’m always annoyed, while listening to this CD, by the production of the solos. I feel like I can hardly hear the solos over the all the other instruments. Maybe it’s just me, but I’d like the volume cranked up a little when Warren Demartini’s busting out his chops. The first song, Wanted Man begins with some noise like something scratching, perhaps a rat. Or it sounds like the CD’s skipping, then the opening power chords. Wanted Man is a decent tune, I love Stephen’s voice throughout the whole CD. Ratt tries to play itself off as a dangerous group of people, which I always have trouble seeing. I mean, come on, they’re wearing make up. But whatever, they can sing whatever they like. The chugging of the rhythm and bass guitars drown out some of the solo. The next song is one of my favorites, You’re In Trouble. It begins with some deep bass and drums. But the chorus makes this song special. The guitars come in with some riff while Pearcy goes “you’re in trouble” that makes you feel like you’re on the run, like you’re…in trouble. I don’t know how to describe it, sort of distressed, but it fits the song perfectly. When listening to Ratt, I mostly notice the vocals and the guitar. The bass, aside from this song, doesn’t do too much for me, and the drums are alright, I guess, but they don’t come out at me. Next is the song that gave me my first taste of Ratt: Round and Round. I saw this video, with the legendary Milton Berle. Needless to say, the video is excellent. This song is a masterpiece of 80’s metal. It has the catchy theme at the start, the skipping guitars before the chorus and the excellent pre-echo during the chorus. This will get stuck in your head for days, and it’s great.
In Your Direction is so so, for pop metal songs, I really rely on the chorus to everything together, and this doesn’t have much of a chorus. It’s not very catchy, it’s not that interesting. However, I think it has one of the most audible solos, and it is a fine solo. She Wants Money jumps right in, with upbeat drums and nice guitar chords. The chorus is quick, like the rest of the song. She Wants Money is fun and simple. Unfortunately, next is Lack of Communication. Look, when I’m listening to pop metal, I’m really not looking for social commentary. I’m willing to make exceptions, if the song is good, but this is just bad. I don’t know what else to say, there’s the bad voices singing “lack of communication” and Stephen Pearcy isn’t at his best. Though the part before the micro-solo is pretty cool. Back For More is a good way for the band to redeem itself. It starts off soft and moves into more heavy territory. Between the minor key for the guitars and the distressed chorus, this song works. The Morning After has good interplay between the guitars and the drums. I guess there’s nothing wrong with drummer, Bobby Boltzer, I just don’t notice him for most of the CD. I’m Insane is…average. Nothing special. The closer, Scene of the Crime starts off rather…happy? The intro seems like a full on ballad is coming on, and a happy one. It’s a fine song, but it sounds like it doesn’t deserve a title like Scene of the Crime. The chorus also doesn’t seem to fit the song. The chorus is bitter, which is what I expected from the whole song.
For the most part, Ratt’s Out of the Cellar is a fun CD, which all that should be asked of a pop metal CD. There’s no “don’t need nothing but the good times,” none of that straight out happy-go-lucky stuff, just clean songs that a fun to listen to. A couple months later, after buying this, I went back to Tower, which was having a sale. And I saw at least ten copies of Out of the Cellar. Yeah, rare, damn San Francisco Chronicle.
I love Ratt. I also respect this album. But I could NEVER understand why all press and people say that this is The Ratt Album, The Ultimate Smash Hit, The Best, etc. I just don't understand. OK, I love The Morning After, Round and Round and the other rather melancolic than happy pop metal tunes all over the album, but I just don't understand why not Invasion Of Your Privacy is the more respected one?? I think it's better and more energic. Also, on out of the cellar, the drums sound too edgeless. On Privacy, they STRIKE, they are more metallic.
But I could NEVER understand why all press and people say that this is The Ratt Album, The Ultimate Smash Hit, The Best, etc.
Well I don't know how old you are but if you were around during the time this came out, you would have seen all the craze that surrounded it....for example, but certainly not the same as beatlemania, it was so crazy then that people who didnt actually live it dont know exactly what it was like.