Release Date: August 4, 2017
I can spend time talking about the quick and at times lifeless production value in many of the songs on Road Rage, but I’d rather spend some time being positive. It’s not hard to find the good tracks on the latest Quiet Riot release, they definitely stand out. The first track that gained my attention was “Freak Flag.” The music here is classic late 80s rock. The grinding guitar of Alex Grossi gives this track everything it needs to succeed. Banali’s drums are superb here and keep the song moving along and just the right pace. Durbin’s vocals may take away a bit (not a lot, but a bit) from the hypnotic Grossi grind, but overall, “Freak Flag” works. It will need to grow on you, but it will if you give it a chance.
A song I really enjoyed listening to because I enjoy listening to Led Zeppelin’s “When the Levee Breaks,” is “Still Wild.” The track starts off like Zeppelin, but soon busts into its own original groove a few moments later, but tell me I’m wrong about the beginning. Blues tinged throughout, “Still Wild” rocks hard and at about the 3:10 mark, James Durbin tries to channel his inner Robert Plant. This must be Durbin’s tribute to rock legends Led Zeppelin. Guitarist Alex Grossi excels on this tune. The only thing missing on this track and all others here are those monstrous backing vocals heard on classic Quiet Riot tracks. The highlight of the album for me is “Renegades.” My words can’t do this song justice. It rocks. The production is probably the best of all the tracks here. James Durbin’s vocals are perfect. If only all the songs on Road Rage were this good. Other notable songs you may enjoy are “Make a Way” and “Wasted.”
Quiet Riot fans will have mixed emotions about this album. The best track, “Renegades,” doesn’t sound like Quiet Riot and maybe this is where the new Quiet Riot direction should go. That would be a good direction for the band to head, straight forward rock, good production, a classic late 80s sound with a bit of modernity thrown in for good measure. I can’t really say enough about this song which is worth the price of the entire CD.
Listen to the songs once, then come back and listen again, you may be more impressed the second time around. I defintely was. While it was hard to repress my need instant gratification, I’m definitely glad I did.
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