Ratt’s reputation has taken quite a pounding recently, with drummer Bobby Blotzer unceremoniously dumped for commandeering the name to tour with a line-up of sidemen. Rodent lovers have waited patiently for new music since 2010’s surprisingly strong Infestation, and with the principals preparing to reunite at last, Smash could perhaps optimistically be viewed as some kind of hors d’oeuvre.
Pearcy has a voice that listeners love or loathe and although he’s achieved much outside the Ratt brand, it’s almost become synonymous with that band’s sleazy hard rock. Ten Miles Wide and I Can’t Take It remind us of past glories, but for a supposed one-trick pony, he really pushes the boundaries with his sixth solo album, from the bubblegrunge of opener I Know I’m Crazy to bouts of Zep, Aerosmith and Stones worship elsewhere. A new Ratt album will be worth the wait. Smash is probably for diehards only.