First Bite

Nasty Ratz

I remember one of my favourite singers telling a sold out crowd here in Montreal: […]
By Johnny Jackal
June 23, 2016
Nasty Ratz - First Bite album cover

I remember one of my favourite singers telling a sold out crowd here in Montreal: ''In a heavy metal band or any rock band for that matter, you need a great lead singer because even if the rest is good, it won't be good and utterly complete''. John Bush from ANTHRAX said this at the Metropolis (opening for good old MOTORHEAD). You need that singer, that raw emotion, someone that drives you to be better, that makes the rest of the band better. Well, unfortunately this band didn't follow that advice.

In any genre, especially in Glam Rock (Sleazy Rock-Metal), you need a singer with some range; one that can scream like a little girl but can get those low notes as well. Well, even though Jake Widow tries his utmost best, it falls flat. He has trouble keeping those high notes and there isn't much charisma or sustainable energy in his voice. He may have a huge presence in the live shows - with the constant running around (according to some videos I have seen of the band performing these songs) - but his vocal talent is not up to par with the rest of the music.

Most of the time NASTY RATZ is prototypical Glam Rock; a mix of MOTLEY CRUE and BILLY IDOL. It's something that could have been out in 1985 and had some success. But as I've said beforehand, the singer does not have the licks to cut it. I appreciate the effort and he does try to reach some of the high notes, but his voice breaks out. The rest of the band is fine but the production values are subpar as well. The voice of the singer is much louder than the rest of the instruments and you don't hear much of the bass or the drums.

The album would have benefited from better production and a better singer. I believe they have the necessary passion and they do want to take that next step. This genre has had some sort of resurrection in the last few years, largely because of STEEL PANTHER. And although STEEL PANTHER may be considered as a mockery of the genre, they are a solid band with one hell of singer. They may have indeed put the genre back on the map.

NASTY RATZ have a lot of work to do and if they can sort out the kinks - beginning with a more efficient production - they could go places. Yet if they want to get better fast, well, they need to find a better singer to accommodate the music. <

5 / 10









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"First Bite" Track-listing:
  1. Love At First Fight
  2. Made of Steel
  3. I Don't Wanna Come
  4. Morning Dreams Come True
  5. Snort Me
  6. Angel in Me
  7. N.A.S.T.Y.
  8. I'll Cut You Off
  9. Sharize
  10. If You Really Love Me
Nasty Ratz Lineup:

Jake Widow - Lead vocals
Stevie Gunn - Lead guitar, vocals
Tommy Christen - Bass guitar, vocals
Rikki Wild - Drums, vocals

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