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Quiet Riot
Road Rage
Type: CD
Company: Frontiers
Release: 2017
Genre: Hard Rock
Reviewer: Eric Compton
Published: 8/17/2017
Triumphant, rousing return that sees the band youthful and energetic
Quiet Riot has a very intricate history that connects on a deep level with their seasoned fans. 'Road Rage', the L.A. act's newest album, has received lukewarm reviews during its first month of release. I can certainly understand anticipation and excitement leading to a poor end-result. It has happened to me numerous times and I can sympathize. Industry and peers will be quick to point out that this version of QR doesn't have a single original member - Yes, correct. They also complain about the mix and production. It doesn't have the recording budget of 'Metal Health' - Again, correct. But, I would be quick to point out that was the 80s when guys like Spencer Proffer was producing Cheap Trick, Heart, W.A.S.P., Eddie Money and QR using "Slick Black Cadillacs" full of cash. It is 2017, QR are on an Italian independent label and playing smaller concert halls across North America. Solid gold hubcaps are long gone.

Knowing all of that, and riding the fence on a portion of the band's 40-year career, I would have to say this: Quiet Riot's 'Road Rage' kicks total ass.

Bassist Chuck Wright has been in and out of the band since 1982 (playing musical chairs with Rudy Sarzo), but a full-time member since 2010. Same thing with drummer Frankie Banali. They both have had 35 years of experience with QR and all of its successes and turbulence. Guitarist Alex Grossi (former Bang Tango, former Adler's Appetite) has been with QR since 2004, making this trio the same band as 2014's 'Number 10' minus Jizzy Pearl. In his place is American Idol's 10th season star James Durbin, who placed fourth in the high-stakes talent contest. Banali offered not only the microphone to Durbin, but also a pen (replacing vocalist Seann Nichols). 'Road Rage' is made up of Durbin's lyrics, melodies and youthful energy.

The album's lead single is "Freak Flag", a very smooth, early 80s tune that has a slower verse section before building into a robust chorus that shows Durbin's higher range. "Can't Get Enough" is a rollicking good time and sounds very natural with the whole band hitting their stride. Banali's playing is highlighted with a louder kick drum and cymbals in the mix (although the toms sound clicky). I love the mix and it's late 70s and early 80s aura. It's warm and fits the mood of songs like "The Road" and "Roll This Joint" so well. You want rock? Man, "Wasted" is a beefy cut, fat-bottom grooves that wrap around the gang chants. I am loving the Led Zep styled "Still Wild" and its slow burn. "Still wild, and never felt more alive" could be the album's defining statement.

Quiet Riot's 'Road Rage' has paved the way for a triumphant, rousing return that sees the band youthful, energetic and reborn for greatness. Easily a highlight to this year's already growing list of monumental achievements.
About this Writer:
Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has served as senior editor for MaximumMetal.com for nearly 10 years and is the author of the heavy metal book series--Denim & Letters. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia.

Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: QUIET RIOT
CD
TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
Road RageQuiet Riot
2017
Eric Compton8/17/2017


ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: QUIET RIOT

No Summary reviews currently exist for them.


ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: QUIET RIOT
INTERVIEW BAND INTERVIEWER DATE
Kevin DuBrowQuiet RiotFrank Hill3/23/2005


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