One of the most influential decades throughout musical history was the ‘80s. A plethora of bands made a name for themselves during this time. Now that we’ve come to 2017, many of these bands are releasing new music. In the past few years, we’ve heard from the likes of Tesla, Bon Jovi, and Kansas, along with former frontmen like Sebastian Bach and Stephen Pearcy. One band that was an ‘80s stalwart was Quiet Riot.
Quiet Riot, in its current iteration, was revived by drummer Frankie Banali in 2010 after the tragic loss of original frontman Kevin Dubrow to a cocaine overdose in 2007. Since 2010, Quiet Riot has gone through four vocalists, finally just granting vocal duties to former American Idol contestant James Durbin. James came in fourth in the 10th season of American Idol in 2011 and has proven himself a formidable vocalist in the music industry.[metalwani_content_ad]
Their latest effort and 13th studio album, ‘Road Rage’, is an 11-track achievement in hard rock. James Durbin may not have the distinctly recognizable vocals of Dubrow, but he still does a good job fronting the band that, at this point, has no original members left in the mix. Because of these facts, ‘Road Rage’ does not necessarily have the Quiet Riot signature sound that was heavily dependent on Dubrow’s vocals. Instead, with their label’s full support, the band embarked on a wholly new musical venture, scrapping the first sessions of the album in favor of Durbin’s fresh vocals.
Opening the album is “Can’t Get Enough” which showcases Durbin’s high-pitched vocals, reminiscent of any number of `80s inspired collaborations. The band is tight and Banali’s direction lends a more garage band feel as opposed to the anthem rock vibe of Quiet Riot’s earlier iterations. The groovier feel continues through most of the songs on the album, including “Getaway”, “Roll This Joint” and “Freak Flag”.
Notable tracks include “Wasted”, another song with that garage band feel. It has a double vocal track in sections with a multi-voice chorus which is very similar to classic Quiet Riot on this album. Another notable track is “Still Wild” which has a familiar drum line opening and a definite blues influence. It’s got a great slow jam feel with Durbin’s vocals fitting the song perfectly. It’s got a slightly strange bridge in the middle of the song which enters into a spacey muted solo. This is one of the longest songs on the album and, by far, one of my favorites.
Rounding out this effort is a smattering of tracks perpetuating the garage band concept. “Make a Way”, “Renegades”, “Shame” and “Knock ‘em Down” all invoke an image of youth, revelry, pride and conviction. Durbin belts out his lyrics with fervor, proving that his addition to the band was a wise move. “The Road” is a more pop-rock entry and could do well commercially with some promotion.[metalwani_content_ad]
‘Road Rage’ could possibly be Quiet Riot’s best effort post Dubrow. It has a raw feel to it, which could very well be the result of James Durbin’s newly infused vocals. The band is fresh and tight, and might also benefit from an updated name to go with their updated sound.