Road Rage is Quiet Riot’s 13th studio album and unless you’ve had your head buried in the sand you’re probably more than aware of the bands recent frontman troubles!
Road Rage was originally gearing up for an April release with singer Seann Nicols at the helm (along with founding drummer Frankie Banali, veteran bassist Chuck Wright and longtime guitarist Alex Grossi) but the band parted ways with Nicols, eventually replacing him James Durbin; a contestant from the 10th season of American Idol!
Just the idea gives you shivers, right? But hey, let’s give the man chance!
Lets face it, replacing Kevin DuBrow is a tough gig, an almost insurmountable task if we’re being really honest with ourselves but Durbin equips himself well. His high-pitched vocals may not compete with the more recognisable tones of DuBrow but he’s a good fit, adding just enough grit to the requisite melody to quantify his position. Understandably, with a new man behind the mic Quiet Riot then decided to re-record the album in its entirety, the release date shifting to August 4th.
Band member issues aside, it’s the album we’re reviewing here and opener, “Can’t Get Enough”, starts brightly, a driving anthem if ever we’ve heard one that’s high octane and delivered with enough passion to overcome its relatively safe demeanour. The solid – if not always spectacular – hits then keep on coming, with Road Rage proving itself to be an album of consistent, mid-tempo rockers built on the soaring vocals of Durbin and the hard-hitting riffs of Alex Grossi.
While Road Rage‘s blend of blues rock and heavy metal may not sound like vintage Quiet Riot, that doesn’t stop it from being a quality rock release. There’s still great tunes to bang your head to and the riotous anthems of the past are echoed in the likes of “Freak Flag” – vintage 80’s material that packs the kind of chorus that decimated arenas back in the day – and the irresistible “Wasted”. “Still Wild” then sums up the Quiet Riot mentality and recalls the hefty opening of Zeppelin’s “When The Levee Breaks” (although never competes with the majesty of that particular classic) before reverting to a powerful chorus beamed straight in from the decade that was forged on hairspray and eyeliner!
Naysayers will say this band shouldn’t be releasing material under the Quiet Riot name but that would be doing the band a considerable disservice and while Quiet Riot will never again match their 80’s chart bothering output, Road Rage is still as good a record as we could expect to hear from them in 2017! 7/10
Frankie Banali – drums
Alex Grossi – guitars
Chuck Wright – bass guitar
James Durbin – vocals