In a world with so many “NOT MY #HASHTAGS” one as a reviewer and a fan I have seen has been and in not so many words; hashtag not my Quiet Riot. Maybe this ain’t your Mamma’s Quiet Riot or if you’re old enough from the “Metal Health” daze, it ain’t your Quiet Riot either. Well, I’m just happy that QUIET RIOT has carried on whether they released new material or not (we’ll get to the new stuff in a few to see if it was worth the wait and or effort).
This isn’t the first time a record has been released with the “Brand Name” Quiet Riot without lead vocalist and front man extraordinaire, Kevin DuBrow, but it is actually the second since his passing. The first time that Quiet Riot ventured out without DuBrow was 1986 with ex-Rough Cutt singer, Paul Shortino behind the striped mic stand (in all sincerity, I don’t even know if he used the DuBrow-esque striped mic stand). “QR” was if anything a decent release, but made no real tremors in the rock world even close to “Metal Health” or the follow-up “Condition Critical”. DuBrow eventually returned to his place for five more Quiet Riot releases (the final “Rehab” was an amazing release and very much underappreciated). Vocalist, Jizzy Pearl stepped into the big shoes of DuBrow in 2014 for some pretty damn strong original material, whilst the late Kevin DuBrow could be heard on some deep cuts from previous “live” performances, thus making it his last vocals on a Quiet Riot release.
Here we are in 2017 and Quiet Riot is still demanding us to “Come on feel the noize”. It has been a long journey for long time drummer Frankie Banali and bassist, Chuck Wright…though not “original” members by the letter, they were BOTH there from the beginnings of “Metal Health” and what most fans know as THE Quiet Riot. Once again handling the guitar duties is six-stringer, Alex Grossi and on vocals, arguably one of the best remembered and rock fan favorite from “American Idol”, James Durbin, all taking out their “Road Rage” on the unsuspecting “QR” fans.
Right from the start you could tell this wasn’t your Momma’s QUIET RIOT…and that’s a damn GOOD THING JUNIOR! Gone were the sound-alikes, the wannabees and the almost was. Grossi’s guitar intro to Durbin’s vocals the song gets your feet tappin’ and your hopes high. It nice they aren’t trying to duplicate or replicate Kevin’s vocals…and damn brave as well. “Can’t Get Enough” is a really great start to this release.
WHAT IS THIS on the next track, “Getaway”? Sitar? Remnants from Warrant’s “Belly to Belly” days? Well, it’s only a fleeting few before the real rockin’ begins. Catchy little tune and so far, so good, so…let’s wait.
“Roll This Joint” is a pleasant little tune, neither makes or breaks the album…”Freak Flag” next starts out with a nice droning blues rock riff with Banali slammin’ it until Durbin’s scream opens it up. This has a really cool slow bluesy feel to it, a tune that in a live setting should get your “Freak Flag” flying!
“Road Rage” just keeps getting better and better for me; after reading a lot of negative reviews, I’m beginning to think I’m being punk’d because this Frontiers Record release is anything but rubbish. BUT…let’s see if we take a nose dive somewhere here, I’m highly doubtful though.
Track 5, “Wasted” comes out rockin’ with Durbin doing more of an Alice vocal than a DuBrow turn. There is just something about the freshness of James Durbin that makes listening to this tune pleasurable. Is it perfect? Not in the least, but again, it IS solid. Grossi’s guitar work shines here and the subtlety of Chuck Wright’s bass just elevates this track. With the title “Still Wild” you’re just HOPING this isn’t where it all hits the skids…basically you’re getting what Quiet Riot set out to be…a hard rocking blues band. This song actually sounds great driving home after work cranked to the max!
“Make a Way” kicks it up a notch with a little bit more fast rocker continuing the blues rock trend that I keep repeating. “Renegade”, “The Road”, “Shame” and the closing track “Knock em Down” continue the rocking fun. It’s sad that because Frankie has kept the “Quiet Riot” name continuing after Kevin’s death actually spurs hatred on the internet, but hey, it’s easy to be a hater hiding behind your keyboard.
Do I wish Kevin was still here rockin’ out? Absolutely, who wouldn’t, but something tells me he is looking down smiling that Frankie is doing the name justice and keeping Kevin’s spirit alive in these tracks and on the stage. Hell, Quiet Riot’s “Rehab” was one of their best releases and nobody gave a piss, not because it wasn’t good, but because the business of music and how we get it all got turned on its hipster haircut head. It will be a shame if this release is ignored because you listen to some douche-nozzle on the internet telling you that “Road Rage” is some epic fail or some other internet meme like holier than now stance.
For fans of Quiet Riot, you will NOT be disappointed with this release and fans of rock music; you are going to enjoy the freshness of a “new” band called, “Quiet Riot” because this is a new and hopefully long term beginning for QR! Thanks for reading and save your negative bullshit for B.M. or Sludge cuz much to your chagrin, this album is a win.
REVIEW BY – “SWEET” LOU HETZER
QUIET RIOT IS:
Frankie Banali – Drums
Chuck Wright – Bass
James Durbin – Vocals
Alex Grossi – Guitars
“Road Rage” track listing:
01. Can’t Get Enough
03. Roll This Joint
04. Freak Flag
06. Still Wild
07. Make A Way
09. The Road
11. Knock Em Down