It’s been twenty-eight years since Ratt released anything vaguely approaching even the most generous definition of “newsworthy.” That would be 1988’s Reach For The Sky, which gave the world Way Cool Jr. and I Want A Woman. While that record extended their platinum-certification streak to four (it would also bring that streak to a close), folding album sales into any discussions regarding that album’s merits is like spraying whipped cream on dog shit. The fact that Reach For The Sky sold one million copies in the US is not so much a validation of the record’s content as evidence of America’s skyrocketing crack epidemic in 1988. Seriously, who fucking bought that album? If Darwin’s On The Origin Of Species is to be believed, most of the people who did have since passed away in a crimson wave of spectacular, self-induced mishaps like jumping into tiger cages or shoving forks into electrical sockets.
Eat Me Up Alive, from 2010’s gloriously-pummeling, speed limit-destroying Infestation album, served up a potent reminder of what that band could achieve when firing on all cylinders, but Infestation aside, Ratt’s relevance in the past thirty years falls somewhere between the actor who played Johnny in the Cobra Kai and keytars. In fact, Ratt’s only headline-worthy accomplishment in the past quarter century has been using their prodigious capacity for public bickering to launch a flood of lawsuits, name-calling, he-said/he-said squabbles and dribbly little pissing contests. Here’s a fun fact: thirty-seven musicians have claimed membership in Ratt as current, former or temporary members. One of those men, former bassist Juan Croucier (Ratt member in 1982-1983, 1983-1992 and 2012-2014) and current member of ‘Ratt’s Juan Croucier’ (treating his former band like a farmer treats a dairy cow), was inexplicably asked if he had ever considered releasing a book like Stephen Pearcy and Bobby Blotzer. Clearly surprised by the question, Croucier replied, “...I thought about it. I just don’t want it to be a really negative thing. I want it to be something that just kind of shows the situation for what it was and explains what happened and does not besmirch others.” I say not only go for it, but besmirch away! Hell, besmirch the ever-loving fuck out of those guys! They’re doing it to you, bro. I’d like to see all thirty-seven present, former and temporary members of Ratt release lurid, no-punches-pulled, five-hundred page tell-alls so I can die knowing that not only did the sun never set on a day in the life of Ratt that has not been ruthlessly chronicled, but that well into my 80s, I’ll still have shit to read.