Ratt – Ratt (1983)

ratt_14 out of 5 Stars!

When this EP appeared in stores back in ’83, I immediately purchased it based on the cover alone. Although I had also read a few blurbs about the band in Kerrang! and Metal Hammer magazine, I wasn’t expecting to hear a seemingly updated version of Aerosmith, only with a dark and dense, riff-heavy sound and a promising lead guitarist by the name of Warren De Martini. I instantly sensed the band (given the right promotion and solid financial backing) would likely make a big splash on the scene, and I was right.

I must admit, however, that this six-song EP remains my favorite release by the band—I loved the raw, dastardly sound of the instruments and the raucous vibe, as opposed to the slick and sanitized production of Ratt’s full-length albums that followed. Nowhere else in Ratt’s future catalogue of releases did the band have the same thunderous power as displayed on opener “Sweet Cheater,” with Bobby Blotzer’s drums barreling out of the speakers like cannon fire and Warren De Martini’s guitar solo shrieking out of the heavens like a six-string blitzkrieg. That earthshaking power continues through the tracks “You Think You’re Tough,” “Tell The World,” “U Got It,” and “Back For More” (a song the band would later rerecord—and water down, unfortunately—for its upcoming full-length debut album Out of the Cellar). But the track that remains my favorite on this EP is Ratt’s cover version of the Rufus Thomas classic “Walkin’ The Dog,” yes, the very same song Aerosmith covered on its own debut album. Truth be told, however, Ratt’s version is heavier—much, MUCH heavier, actually—and blows Aerosmith’s version to smithereens.

So for me, this EP is a true classic in the Glam genre and I wish Ratt had stayed on this “down and dirty path” instead of veering off onto the road to “slick land.”

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