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Steve Peake

This Week's Forgotten Gem of the '80s - Ratt - "In Your Direction"

By January 2, 2013

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ratt.jpgAlong with fellow Sunset Strip bands Quiet Riot and Motley Crue, Ratt excelled during most of its solid '80s career as one of the more muscular-sounding hair metal bands of the era. In fact, the dual-guitar attack of Robbin Crosby and Warren DeMartini produced plenty of dynamic shredding over the course of four '80s studio albums - enough to place the band squarely into the top tier of pop-tinged heavy metal acts of the period. Perhaps more importantly, the distinctive lead vocals of frontman Stephen Pearcy injected a sneering, even menacing edge into the group's sound that was otherwise missing from more popular acts like Poison. All in all, this quintet was a major force in what would become an MTV genre staple even if it never quite generated the level of monumental success enjoyed by several contemporaries.

Ratt also happened to produce more than one genuine album statement during an era that sometimes favored singles and resulted in uneven LPs. Though it created a sound not as hook-centered as similar bands like Dokken and Def Leppard, that mildly anti-melodic focus on buzzing guitars helped Ratt deliver a significant jolt in sound as well as image. A deep but worthy album track from 1984's triple-platinum debut Out of the Cellar, "In Your Direction" stands as one of Pearcy's few solo songwriting credits with Ratt. Even better, it sports a powerful central riff that emphasizes the molten, metallic potential seldom realized in commercial hard rock at the time. Of course, a handful of classic tunes come to mind instantly and deservingly when the music of Ratt is considered, but it's a mistake to overlook the rest of the band's surprisingly consistent catalogue.

Album Cover Image Courtesy of Atlantic

Comments

January 21, 2013 at 8:00 am
(1) Shemp9971 says:

Hate to say it, but the 1980′s were generally not a great time for music, at least from an album or an artistic angle. They were a very commercial period, though there were, of course exceptions. Sometimes I think those people who weren’t born in the 1980′s and are just now discovering this decade don’t see that things weren’t all they were cracked up to be.

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