With their third full length LP, Ratt solidified the fact that they were a band that could be counted on! This, despite the band members’ strained relationship with each other — not too surprising given that they were a bunch of hardcore fiends. Somehow and someway, Ratt managed to keep an electric chemistry with the perils of rock and roll tugging on their collective leash. Ratt’s first two LPs went triple platinum and double platinum, respectively. By 1986, Ratt’s popularity began to wane a bit as the sleazy brand of L.A. hard rock they helped pioneer started to flood the market (meaning that Ratt had much more competition in 1986). And although Dancing Undercover went platinum, I still view it as somewhat of an overlooked gem. In my worthless opinion, Dancing Undercover is Ratt’s best album! Admittedly, I’m splitting hairs here, as Ratt’s first three albums are fairly interchangeable in terms of style and substance. But Dancing Undercover is the one I listen to the most.
With Beau Hill turning the knobs, Dancing Undercover was produced perfectly — yielding maximum groove, swagger, and strut. Ratt’s rhythm section of Juan Croucier and Bobby Blotzer knew how to lock on to a killer groove and not let go. Meanwhile, the razor-sharp riffs and tasty soloing of Warren DeMartini and Robbin Crosby cut through the speakers like napalm in the jungle. I love the tone of their guitars — dripping with nastiness! Sure, vocalist Stephen Pearcy may have been the band’s weak link technically, but it’s hard to imagine Ratt without Pearcy’s one-dimensional singing style. Lyrically, Pearcy and Ratt were pretty lousy, but we’ll forgive them because they dropped a helluva sleazy payload on our sorry asses here. Check out white-hot cuts like Dance, Slip Of The Lip and Body Talk for three examples of “classic” Ratt. I also want to give a shout out to what might be Ratt’s best ever “deep track”, the irresistible Looking For Love. I know it’s only Ratt n’ roll… but I like it. My score: A