Deadline Music/Cleopatra Records
Release date: June 21, 2005

User Review
6.5/10 (1 vote)

In 1985, the Coca-Cola Company startled the American consumer market by announcing a new taste and packaging for their flagship soft drink, Coke. This amounted to the first change in the secret formula since Coca-Cola was created in 1886. There was such uproar by consumers in sales and via public opinion that the company ended up responding (or was it more like “forced” to respond) by returning the original formula to the market, packaged as Coca-Cola Classic®. The Coca-Cola Company learned a valuable lesson that year, which is best summed up by the adage: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”. Unfortunately, this is the most appropriate cliché that best describes Rat Attack’s new release, Round And Round Greatest Hits.

“Rat Attack” is actually the brainchild of Ratt’s original vocalist, Stephen Pearcy. In a highly unoriginal move, for whatever reasons, Pearcy decided to re-record 17 “classic” Ratt tracks using one drummer, two bass players, and four guitarists. The bass players include Matt Thorne (Rough Cutt), who was interestingly enough, in theory, Ratt’s original bassist in “Mickey Ratt,” which was the earliest version of the present day band. The guitarists on this CD include special guests George Lynch (Dokken, Lynch Mob) and Tracii Guns (Guns ‘N’ Roses, L.A. Guns, Brides Of Destruction). Another interesting side note is that Tracii had, at one point in time, tried out for an incarnation of Ratt, so his involvement was probably not accidental.

The biggest question with this release is “why?” Why did Pearcy feel compelled to do this project … is it because he can? Or is he throwing spitballs at the current incarnation of Ratt? Maybe he’s trying to drive home the fact that Ratt was originally his and still is in essence? One reason that “he can” release these versions is because Pearcy wrote or co-wrote all 17 of the tracks that appear on this CD. Obviously, there were some hard feelings when he left the band. Whether or not it is to comply legalities, or perhaps by choice, you’ll find no mention of the word “Ratt” (with two Ts) on the liner notes or artwork throughout this release. There certainly was opportunity for it on the cover alone, as the whiskey bottle Pearcy is holding says “100% Rat Proof” (another spitball?). The label even went as far to list the “Ratt Madness” track as “Rat Madness.” Speaking of the artwork, it almost seems like Pearcy was on a slight budget here. The CD contains outdated photos of George Lynch, a precarious photo of Pearcy and Guns, and a partially covered CD tray liner photo of Jake E. Lee (Jake was, in fact, the original Mickey Ratt guitarist)!

Enough ranting, so how’s the music? Pearcy’s own Web site proclaims “There is only one way to hear these classics done properly, and that is with the voice that made them famous in the first place!” Unfortunately, the way to hear these “classics” is on the original Ratt albums where they were recorded! The versions presented here all seem slower in tempo, have lost their punch, and Pearcy’s vocals aren’t as electric as the “originals.” There are some instances where they’ve lost their spark and catchiness because a melodic chorus wasn’t multi-tracked enough. Not even the lead work of Lynch (6 tracks) and Guns (2 tracks) can pull this release out of its mediocrity. Even their lead work is suspect, as it’s not their strongest work and is certainly nothing over the top. They both tend to stay in the framework Ratt guitarist Warren DeMartini had already established on these songs.

One gets the feeling that Pearcy is trying to rehash history or hold on to the past. Mr. Pearcy, it’s time to let go and get on with life. Why was this release necessary, and even more quizzically, why release it around the same time as Pearcy’s new solo album (Fueler)? Especially since Fueler begins to help define his musical identity with tracks that are mostly non-Ratt like (other than ANOTHER version of “Round And Round”). Watch for Metal Express Radio’s review of Fueler to be posted in a few days. Diehard Lynch fans might find one or two musical note treats in this mix. Old time Ratt fans, on the other hand, should save their money and stick with the original recordings for better singing, more punch, and more energy.


Lead Vocals – Stephen Pearcy
Guitars – Tracii Guns, George Lynch, Erik Ferentinos, Mark Zavon
Bass – Matt Thorne, Troy Johnson
Drums – Todd Roberson
Production – Matt Thorne, Stephen Pearcy

Song list

Round And Round, You Think You’re Tough, U Got It, Sweet Cheater, Lack Of Communication, Lay It Down, You’re In Love, Back For More, Wanted Man, Lovin’ You’s A Dirty Job, Slip Of The Lip, Body Talk, I’m Insane, Dr. Rock, Rat Madness, Drivin’ On E, Top Secret


  • Scott Jeslis

    Scott is one of the partners at Metal Express Radio. He handles a lot of Metal Express Radio's public relations, screening of new music and radio scheduling. On occasion, he also does reviews and interviews. He has been a proud member of the Metal Express Radio crew since 2004.

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