under the blade remix

REVIEW: Ratt – Ratt (EP)

Here’s the first review from the The Toronto Musical Collectibles Record & CD Sale! I promised I’d show you more of the stuff I scored. Here’s one!

RATT – Ratt (1984 remixed EP, Time Coast)

My understanding is that this EP, much like Twisted Sister’s Under the Blade, was remixed and re-released.  It is the remixed version that I got in Mississauga at the Toronto Musical Collectibles Record Show.  I’ve wanted this EP for a long time, but for some reason it’s only now that I finally picked it up.  I was pleased to find it an enjoyable listen, easily on a par with Out of the Cellar, possibly Ratt’s best album.

Europe got 7 tracks on their version of the original mix (wishlist!), but this remixed version only has six.  Missing is “You’re In Trouble” which in re-recorded version was also on Out of the Cellar.  6 songs is a good length, too much Ratt can sound like razorblades coming at your ears, some times!  This self-titled debut keeps things brief, each of its songs more or less delivering the goods.

RATT LABELThe opener “Sweet Cheater” and “U Got It” are the faster side of Ratt.  I love Bobby “Da Blotz” Blotzer’s simple but gleeful drum intro.  (Can’t believe this guy was in Tateryche.)  Both songs have decent riffs, once again keeping things simple.  Pearcy’s trademark vocal snark is in fine form.  Ratt are not a great rock n’ roll band, but they certainly satisfy my cravings when I need some spandex-wrapped non-wimpy LA hard rock.  No ballads.  They had their own sound, largely due to Pearcy’s one-of-a-kind voice.

The closest thing to a ballad would be “Back For More”, which is to say, it has some acoustic guitars before Pearcy yelps, “You turn him away, you tell him you’re mine, You make him believe you’re but one of a kind.”  Meaningless but cocky.  Which maybe sums up the whole Ratt experience.  This is an early version of the hit song from Out of the Cellar, a bit longer, needing some of the fat trimmed.

“Walkin’ the Dog” is a Rufus Thomas cover via Aerosmith.  Aerosmith were in no danger of being dethroned by Ratt’s version, but it’s fun.  It suits their sound, it’s heavy, they throw their own attitude into it, and I’m sure there were youngsters of the 1980’s who assumed it was their own original tune.  The guitar solo is great.

The best song is the single “You Think You’re Tough”.  If Ratt has two sides (fast, and mid-tempo) then this is the mid-tempo side.  The riff is one of their best, the chorus and bridges are great, and the video had both Ozzy and Motley Crue in it.  Cool.

That’s Tawny Kitaen on the cover.  Pre-Coverdale.  She was dating Robbin Crosby at the time!

4/5 stars

Side A:

  1. “Sweet Cheater”
  2. “You Think You’re Tough”
  3. “U Got It”

Side B:

  1. “Tell the World”
  2. “Back for More”
  3. “Walkin’ the Dog”

REVIEW: Twisted Sister – Under The Blade (1985 remix)

First of my reviews from Record Store Excursion 2012!  Check out the video below if you missed it. This one bought at Sonic Boom Kensington.


TWISTED SISTER – Under The Blade (1985 remix)

The original 1982 Secret Records mix of this album was raw and heavy, like a bulldozer with a singer and sense of rhythm.  Secret folded and Atlantic re-released the album in ’85 with a remix helmed by Mark Mendoza.  For added measure they added Twisted’s first single, “I’ll Never Grow Up, Now!” as a bonus track.

Although less so in its remixed for, Under the Blade served as a brutal reminder that Twisted Sister were and are a heavy metal band, before the MTV hits happened. No ballads, the only slow moment is the intro to “Run For Your Life” which soon hits the gas and takes off at breakneck speed. Like a cross between early Kiss, Cooper, Sabbath and Priest, Under the Blade was an aural assault. The assault was assisted by a brutally ragtag heavy production and mix, frayed at the edges and certainly way too heavy for kiddies weaned on autotune today.  Elsewhere, more melodic fare like “Bad Boys (of Rock and Roll)” and “Shoot ‘Em Down” plot the way for the more commercial years about to unfold.

But then they did that remix, and toned everything down.  The drums aren’t as loud, the guitars less cutting.  In short, it sounds like they were trying to make Under the Blade fit in more with the Stay Hungry sound.  I did like that they included “I’ll Never Grow Up, Now!”, one of my favourite TS tracks of all time.

Production is by Pete Way (UFO), and Fast Eddie Clarke (Motorhead) takes a guest guitar solo.

For the remix:

3/5 stars