The Eugeology Series is based on a list of hard rock albums that Eugene Sims has compiled and shared with me and Tim Beeman. (Read his description of the process here). We each write our own comments and then share them so that we can see where we agree, or just as likely, disagree. Compared to them I’m a know-nothing, which will be obvious with each review.
Eugene’s second pick was more familiar to me than his first, but I hadn’t heard any of these tracks in at least 20 years (yeah, I’m old) so it was definitely a blast from the past.
I wasn’t a big Ratt fan back in my mullet days, but they definitely had a few songs I got into and one of them was “Lay It Down” which is the third track on this album. Hearing it again all these years later I have to say it’s not as “hard” as I remember it. I really remembered it being more like Motley Crue’s Dr. Feelgood but it isn’t close to that song’s tempo or intensity. Still, it’s a solid tune and I was happy to hear it again.
“You’re In Love” was the other song I remembered and my opinion of that one hasn’t changed much. I kind of liked it back in the day, and I kind of liked it this time around.
A surprise was how much I liked the album’s 5th track, “Closer to My Heart.” I can almost guarantee you my younger self didn’t like it much – far too slow and melodic, but with my old man ears I really liked this one. There’s also a nice little guitar riff at the end that was a pleasant surprise.
Listening to the album a couple of times over the last week reminded me why I wasn’t a huge Ratt fan bag in the day: I just couldn’t get into Stephen Pearcy’s vocals. They always sounded whiny to me, and while it’s definitely a distinctive sound it just never did much for me. When you listen to a full album, versus one song here and there, it really comes through. The band is solid, but when the lead vocals don’t work for you it’s kind of hard to overcome.
Now, I’m looking forward to hearing what’s next on Eugene’s list.
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