After their lackluster 1999 eponymous release, RATT disappeared into obscurity but caught everyone off guard by reemerging in 2010 with their comeback album INFESTATION. This was their first album after the death of guitarist Robin Crosby in 2002, leaving original members Stephen Pearcy (vocals), Warren DeMartini (guitars) and Bobby Blotzer (drums.) New to the band is Robbie Crane on bass replacing original bassist Juan Croucier and ex-Quiet Riot guitarist Carlos Cavazo. Despite all the new members on board, this is a true throwback to the early RATT years with upbeat tempos, catchy sleazy glam metal songwriting and the much missed duo lead guitar trade offs. In fact the band set out to purposely construct an album that would fit in between their first two full albums “Out Of The Cellar” and “Invasion Of Your Privacy.” Apparently they had a lot pent up support awaiting the year of the RATT to cycle around the bend once again because upon release it debuted at number 30 on the Billboard charts 20 years after any relevancy.
INFESTATION is exactly what it claims to be. It is a bunch of catchy glam metal rockers that sound exactly like they fit into the heyday of the RATT’n Rollers. The songs are similarly constructed, similarly executed and at the end of it all is RATT by the numbers. While this album got a lot of rave reviews upon its release i have to admit that it just sounds a little too forced for the most part. Yeah, it is successful in its attempts to be authentically retro and the production is superior to anything they’ve recorded in the past, but it just seems like this kind of glam metal in 2010 seems off to me. Yeah, i know you can’t take this kind of glam metal too seriously so i don’t need to make an intellectual journey out of it. It is exactly what it is. However, even being exactly what it is i feel the consistency of the whole thing is a tad off. There are lots of standout tracks starting with the excellent “Eat Me Up Alive” followed by a whole parade of tracks that sound like reworkings of their classic riffs. Personally i like “As Good As It Gets,” “Best Of Me” and “Eat Me Up Alive” the best. This is definitely a worthy return to form delivering the goods of yestercentury but personally i would have liked to hear some musical development of some kind, but this is still one of the band’s better albums so a return to form is much preferred to the 1999 nonsense.