Ratt, Sundara Karma, and Vampire Weekend Reviews

written by Amir Lahoud on

Hello, music lovers! We have another fine collection of in-depth album reviews, sourced from none other than WUVT DJs Neil Orandello, Jillian Krinsky, and Emelia Delaporte reviewing albums from metal to pop, with more coming soon! To begin, check out Neil's review of Ratt's Out of the Cellar!

Out of the Cellar album Cover. Woman dressed in an all black dress crawling torwards a bright yellow smoke plume. Ratt and Out of the Cellar appear above the smoke at the top left of the frame.

Out of the Cellar by Ratt

Neil Orandello

If I could describe Ratt in two words, it would be “criminally underrated.” Many are not accustomed to Ratt, as they were overshadowed by most of the metal and hard rock bands of the 80’s, however Ratt’s first two studio albums, Out of The Cellar and Invasion of Your Privacy, are pure hard rock classics that fail to disappoint. Out of The Cellar was Ratt’s first studio album, which released in early 1984 and featured their most famous and recognizable song, Round and Round (which has an amazingly goofy music video as well). Though their famous hit is one of the most exciting and praised hard rock songs to ever exist, it’s Ratt’s lesser-known tracks on Out of The Cellar that make their first studio album a must-listen for all rock enthusiasts. Specifically, She Wants Money, I’m Insane, and The Morning After are what truly elevate the album to an instant classic. With fast pacing, witty lyrics, and catchy mixtures of electric guitar solos and the bangs of a loud snare, these three songs are perfect examples of what B-side 80’s metal songs were all about. On the flip side, Wanted Man brings a slower, more relaxed beat than the rest, but it still offers Ratt’s witty and catchy lyrics that will surely be stuck in your head (and another cheesy but incredibly enjoyable 80’s music video). Though each song is completely different, they somehow each hit a recognizable note among hard rock enthusiasts that you can't help but appreciate.

Invasion of your Privacy album cover. Woman sitting on a chair in a mainly white and gray bedroom bending down to put socks on. The word Ratt and Invasion of Your Privacy are at the top and bottom of the frame

Invasion of Your Privacy by Ratt

Neil Orandello

Just a year after Out of the Cellar, Ratt released their second studio album, Invasion of Your Privacy. The album brought a slower, more methodical and pop approach when compared to Out of the Cellar. Ratt struck gold once again with an album packed with hard rock classics. Lay It Down and You’re in Love were hailed as Invasion of Your Privacy’s most popular songs, once again bringing catchy lyrics mixed with strong guitar riffs to the forefront of Ratt’s album. However, much like Out of the Cellar, Invasion of Your Privacy’s lesser known tracks are what make the second album even more enjoyable than their first. Specifically: Got Me on the Line, Never Use Love, and Dangerous But Worth the Risk are the three tracks that solidify Ratt’s second album as a classic. Each song brings an exciting electric pace, reminiscent of Out of the Cellar’s fast tracks, except these three tracks still feel much slower and drawn out while still hitting all the notes expected in a hard rock song. On the opposite end, You Should Know by Now hits all the notes of a playful pop rock song, with a strong cowbell beat and an amazing electric guitar solo. I will admit, these songs (and Invasion of Your Privacy as a whole) are extremely cheesy, but I can’t deny that I get every single one of these tracks stuck in my head for days after listening to them. Down to the amazingly 80’s album cover, Invasion of Your Privacy is one of my favorite albums of all time and, in my opinion, it’s one of the best metal / hard rock album of the 80’s. With all these outstanding tracks, Out of The Cellar and Invasion of Your Privacy are undeniably legendary albums for any hard rock/metal enthusiast or anyone looking to enjoy the talents of a band long forgotten.

Ulfilas' Alphabet album cover. Two cartoon skeletons in the center of the frame dancing in front of a colored background.

Ulfilas’ Alphabet by Sundara Karma

Jillian Krinsky

Sundara Karma’s second studio album is a colorful experience from beginning to end. An eclectic mix of indie rock art pop and synth-fun brings us into a more upbeat and experimental listening experience after their first album, Youth is Only Ever Fun in Retrospect. Tracks A Song For My Future Self (1), One Last Night On this Earth (2), Higher Stakes (5), and Home (There Was Never Any Reason To Feel So Alone)” (13) toy with attitudes of existential disaster, heartbreak and the inevitable passage of time with new rave sounds and spacey backing vocals. Members Oscar Pollock (vocals, synthesizers, guitar), Dom Cordell (Bass), Ally Baty (guitar, keyboard) and Haydn Evans (drums) not only send the listener on a wave of excitement but also tickle an earworm. Although Pollock's distinct vocals elude to an unhappy day, Alphabet is still an album one could listen to on a calm afternoon walk. Searching for something to listen to during a car ride with the windows down? Try Symbols of Joy & Eternity (4) or One Last Night On this Earth (2) mentioned above. Fun Fact: Ulfilas was a 4th-century missionary credited with the translation of the bible into Gothic and developing the Gothic Alphabet!

Only God was Above Us album cover. Man sitting on an old subway car reading a newspaper that says Only God Was Above Us. There is a man walking along the wall, away from the first man.

Only God Was Above Us by Vampire Weekend

Emelia Delaporte

How to describe this album except... confused? Only God Was Above Us is confused and tripping over its piano keys but boy does it fall gracefully. If you like trippy instrumentals, the strange feeling of your music pausing and unpausing without your touching your device, tumbling down the stairs and staying on the ground to stare back up at the air that just let you fall... this album might be for you. -- Personally, I didn't love this one so much for daily listening. However, it made for an introspective car ride and that's just what I needed on an April Thursday! Definitely doesn't top Vampire Weekend's debut album for me personally but they keep on getting more complicated in their instrumentals and it's quite a ride. The sound is blurry yet deliberate, confused yet intentional. The literal first word of the album is a swear, which excellently characterizes the entire album. Think, the fear of impending graduation and the hazy recollections that go behind it? -- Personal favorites are tracks 1 and 10; they bookend the doom and gloom of the album well.

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