Quiet Riot – “Road Rage” (Frontiers Music)
Although beginning in the mid 70s as the group formed by Randy Rhoads, Quiet Riot will always go down in history as the band that cracked the Billboard 200 chart with “Metal Health” in 1983, selling over 6 million copies along with a number of hit singles including a cover of Slade’s ‘Cum On Feel The Noise’. Those of you who remember that time will know the euphoria every time the video was played or the song aired and it certainly broke the band big time with them touring for years off the back of it. Sadly, subsequent releases didn’t hit the same peaks, leading to increased tension between vocalist Kevin DuBrow and well, pretty much the rest of the world. This led to a revolving door of line ups, break ups, sporadic involvement of the ‘classic’ line up of guitarist Carlos Cavazo, bassist Rudy Sarzo and drummer Frankie Banali but somehow, Quiet Riot continued to record and tour in whatever shape or form determined by DuBrow. This would all end tragically when he was found dead in his apartment in 2007. Despite Banali vowing never to tour again under the band’s name out of respect to his friend, DuBrow’s family and even the fans a new band would emerge 3 years later, albeit with the blessing of all to continue the legacy of their late vocalist resulting in their 12th album “Quiet Riot 10” released in 2014. Since then, under Banali’s helm the band have continued to grow despite more line up changes and now with American Idol alum James Durbin on vocals, presents “Road Rage”! With the music penned in the main by Banali I have to say how hard rock drenched the material is – I mean, it’s soaked and despite possessing an 80s sound, doesn’t step anywhere near the commerciality that the band became synonymous with back then. Nodding more towards classic Aerosmith and Zepp, check out the sassy n grooving ‘Roll The Joint’ with Banali’s hard, Bonham-esque drums providing the ballsy backbeat to the Durbin’s Robert Plant funky wailings. Hitting the wah, Alex Grossi (Bang Tango, Love/Hate, Skid Row etc) injects the fuel to the riff magic of ‘Wasted’ and with its monster singalong chorus, will definitely resonate to lifelong fans of the band. Equally, the somewhat dark and shouted out chorus of ‘Freak Flag’ had me thinking along the lines of Skid Row especially with Durbin’s high Bach style vocals and deep bass by longtime 80s member Chuck Wright, while on ‘Renegades’ the reverb is here to stay with yet another hit hard rock chorus as Banali stomps it as hard as he always did. Fantastic! MTV may have cum and gone, and although with no founding members left, Quiet Riot continue with this excellent hard rock gem that both preserves their legacy with respectability while providing definitive proof of their future capability.