I never really cared much for the whole glam metal thing during its heyday in the '80s. Something about dudes in spandex and more make-up and hairspray than the hot little vixen down the street just didn't do much for me. Needless to say, I wasn't really heartbroken when the scene died out, leaving behind a volume of tunes that actually were worthy of being labeled as "classic" and a whole mess of leftovers that are forgettable if anything. One band that was able to pump out a good number of jams that caught my ear my back then was RATT. "Round And Round" and "Wanted Man" were always good for inducing raucous sessions of air guitar back in the day, and the band has undeniably recaptured that magic with their latest platter of hair metal madness.
Of all the comebacks and reunions from that era we're currently experiencing, RATT is arguably one of the most viable. "Infestation" doesn't waste any time in proving that statement either. Opener "Eat Me Up Alive" is an aggressive slab of rock that delivers one of the band's most infectious choruses since "Round And Round". Stephen Pearcy hasn't lost a bit of his flair as he comes flying back out of the cellar with every ounce of vocal swagger that poured from his throat on the early albums. As "Infestation" plays on, you get the feeling that it's 1985 all over again with unapologetic slices of ratt n' roll like "A Little Too Much" and "Look Out Below" that boldly ignore the last 25 years of music. Warren DeMartini and Carlos Cavazo (ex-QUIET RIOT) epitomize everything awesome about this style of guitar playing with sleazy and bluesy riffs (the most notable being "Last Call") and a fistful of soaring solos. We even get a bit of balladry with "Take Me Home", which does kill the album's overall momentum a little, but the upbeat ode to the one-night stand that is "Don't Let Go" turns the dial back up to eleven for a victorious end.
With any luck, RATT 2010 will be able to bypass the shitty dive bar and state fair circuit when they take this act out on the road as songs like "Rock Steady" and "Best Of Me" are custom-made for the arena. Something about the thought of seeing a packed house of groupies turned soccer moms tossing bras and singing along to said tunes makes me wish I hadn't missed the boat the first time around. And that's what makes "Infestation" such a cool album. Whether this disc spearheads the rebirth of glam or not, it is a great reminder that there were some damn good times to be had back in those days and there's nothing wrong with reliving the best of them. For straightforward and entertaining old-school rock n' roll, you really can't go wrong with "Infestation", so buck a few trends, drink a few beers and go have some fun with this one.