Friday, June 27, 2014

Quiet Riot- "10" review

 Quiet Riot - 10
Quiet Riot
Rating: *** 1/2 

            Two days after announcing its release, Quiet Riot’s new album has been released digitally. The album, 10, comes off as an oddly arranged album- featuring six new studio tracks with current lead singer Jizzy Pearl and four live tracks featuring the late Kevin DuBrow. While many have criticized drummer Frankie Banali’s choice to reform Quiet Riot in 2010, some longtime fans might be surprised by 10.

            This reunited version of Quiet Riot has been together since 2010. The band currently consists of singer Jizzy Pearl, guitarist Alex Grossi, bassist Chuck Wright and drummer Frankie Banali. Of the four members, casual fans might only be familiar with Banali as he is the only member of the Metal Health line-up in the band. Wright has been in and out of the band since before the classic line-up while Grossi joined in 2005. These three musicians were in the last line-up of Quiet Riot before singer Kevin DuBrow’s death in 2007. DuBrow once stated that this was his favorite version of Quiet Riot to play with, which is the reason why Banali decided to reform the new version of the band with Grossi and Wright. Since 2010, the band has been through two different lead singers: Mark Huff (2010-2012) and Scott Vodkun (2012-2013). The band’s current singer is Jizzy Pearl, formerly of Love/Hate and Ratt.

            The first six tracks on the album are all new songs featuring Pearl on vocals. The first of them, “Rock In Peace,” is a simple Zeppelin-esque rocker. Pearl’s vocals are remarkable similar to DuBrow’s. The lyrics make references to previous Quiet Riot songs, using the “Well now you’re here, there’s no way back” line from “Metal Health” in the chorus. “Bang for Your Buck” is a bouncy sounding track while “Back on You” is a crunchy fast-paced rocker. Both songs utilize vocal harmony sections, which brings back memories of the band’s albums made in the 1980s. Of the new tracks, “Backside of Water” and “Band Down” are weakest ones of the bunch. While they aren’t bad songs, nothing sticks out as different although Grossi’s solo on the latter is impressive. Grossi continues to show off his skills on the last of the studio tracks, “Dogbone Alley.”

            The last four tracks on the album are live cuts, featuring the late great Kevin DuBrow on lead vocals. These live tracks are from some of the last shows that DuBrow would ever play in his life. Banali made a wise choice in not picking live performances of the band’s hits. Instead, we have an eclectic bunch of tunes. “Put Up or Shut Up,” a cut from QR III, is more enjoyable live than in the studio. “Free” and “South of Heaven” from 2006’s Rehab are also featured on here. While Kevin’s vocals are sensational, the quality of the live recording could have been better (though this is probably the best we’re going to get). The album ends with a medley of British blues rock tunes, ranging from Humble Pie, the Jeff Beck Group and Led Zeppelin.

            Overall, 10 is a fun album to listen to. I’m quite surprised at how this turned out. I think fans who are skeptical about this new line-up should at least give it a listen. If the band ever did want to record a full-length studio album with Pearl, I’d be all for it.  

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