REVIEW: Quiet Riot – 10 (2014)

We’ve had a couple strong new releases in a row here of late: The new Helix and Judas Priest albums have been particularly great.

I guess two out of three ain’t bad.

NEW RELEASE

CoverQUIET RIOT – 10 (2014 iTunes or Amazon mp3 download)

I’ve made no secret of my dislike for the happenings in Quiet Riot recently.  I find their current reunion, with no original members, to be tenuous at best.  Singer after singer, Quiet Riot stumbled onwards before finally hiring Jizzy Pearl of Love/Hate and Ratt fame.  With Pearl they’ve managed to record an album.  10 is the name of that album, another thing I find a little disrespectful.  The name 10 seems to me to imply it’s their 10th album.  It’s not; all fans know Metal Health was their third, not first, album.   This seems to play into an earlier attempt to re-write the Quiet Riot related Wikipedia pages to state that Metal Health was the band’s first record.  Why?  I can only speculate that this is done to promote the current Quiet Riot as having “original members”, when in fact they have none.

However, I’m going to listen with open ears, because that’s what I’m here to do.

First track, “Rock in Peace” is one I like quite a lot.  What I don’t like is the muddy, muddy sound.  The drums sound like they’re in another room.  It’s too bad because I think the song has potential.  As for Jizzy, it’s easy to adjust to him as lead singer of Quiet Riot.  Although he doesn’t sound like the late Kevin DuBrow too much, he does have certain screamy qualities in common with DuBrow.  This enables him to adapt to the Quiet Riot sound.  The lyrics quote the band’s biggest original hit, “Metal Health”, which is alright.  Halford’s quoted himself before too.  OK, so production aside, not bad.

“Bang For Your Buck” has some tasty guitar by the talented Alex Grossi, making his first Quiet Riot album appearance here.  Unfortunately the otherwise fine song is held back by Jizzy, overreaching and straining.  Grossi really does redeem the song especially with the solo…but damn this album sounds muddy.  Congested.  Like I have a head cold while listening to it.

Third in line is the weird titled “Backside of Water”.  I don’t know what that title means, and since this is a digital release, there are no lyrics.  It smokes along nicely, with more fantastic Grossi guitars, but it’s an unremarkable song that doesn’t sound like Quiet Riot, except in the sense that Quiet Riot has a lot of unremarkable songs.  The Ratt-like “Back on You” is outtake quality.  I’m sensing that the guys think they can just throw a shout-AC/DC-style chorus on something and call it catchy, but it doesn’t work that way.

“Band Down” is what you’d call a “down n’ dirty” rocker.  I’d call it dull, and poor sounding.   I think they’re trying to recapture that “Stay With Me Tonight” vibe, but without a memorable chorus.  But “Dog Bone Alley” is worse, absolutely sunk by horrendous backing vocals.  It has a slinky, heavy groove, and some smokin’ guitars, but that’s not enough to build a song with.

Alex Grossi, Jizzy Pearl, Frankie Banali, Chuck Wright

Alex Grossi, Jizzy Pearl, Frankie Banali, Chuck Wright

Quiet Riot’s biggest stumbling block has always been songwriting.  That’s why some of their biggest hits are covers.  Quiet Riot 10 continues that frustrating tradition.   Just like albums such as Alive and Well had some good songs and solid moments, so is Quiet Riot 10.  And that’s only six songs!

What Quiet Riot did to make a full album is include four live songs, kinda taking a page out of the ZZ Top book, a-la Fandango!  These tracks are all obscurities, songs not available in live versions before.  They all feature Kevin DuBrow, but could Frankie have not found better sounding recordings?  From Quiet Riot III is a horrid sounding version of “Put Up or Shut Up”.  This is bootleg quality, and not even good bootleg quality.  Too bad; sounds like it was a good version.  Then, from the stinky Rehab CD comes an unnecessary “Free”.  So it’s heavy, whoop-de-do.  It’s a shitty song, and the vocals are so damn distorted at times that it sounds as if Kevin’s under water.  “South of Heaven” too suffers from these sonic defects.  It seems like they were going for a Zeppelin “Nobody’s Fault But Mine” kind of vibe, but as if the mothership crashed into “The Ocean”.  (See what I did there?)  Kevin even yelps, “Push, push!”  It’s a shame because Frankie really is a smokin’ drummer.

The final track is a nine minute rock n’ roll medley.  This is a great jam.  Humble Pie’s “Red Light Mama, Red Hot!” is a great little obscure choice.  Kevin sounds like he’s having a blast.  Actually the whole band sound like they’re having more fun here than they were playing their own originals.  This seques into other more familiar hits, still harkening back to that old British blues rock sound.

Live many albums of Quiet Riots past, 10 stumbles and fails at times, while producing pleasing hard rock surprises at others.  The sonic issues are a surprise to me.  I hope a physical CD release, if there is to be one, would improve the sound.

2/5 stars

1. “Rock in Peace” 4:00
2. “Bang For Your Buck” 3:52
3. “Backside of Water” 4:18
4. “Back on You” 3:24
5. “Band Down” 3:17
6. “Dogbone Alley” 4:29

Live
7. “Put Up or Shut Up” 4:18
8. “Free” 4:05
9. “South of Heaven” 5:25
10. “Rock ‘n’ Roll Medley” 9:22

 

For further reading, check out Jon Wilmenius’ review of Quiet Riot 10.

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53 comments

  1. I just read Jon’s review as well so this is probably the most press QR has recieved in the last few weeks !
    Like I said over at Jon’s, Frankie should have just retired the QR name and just gone back playing drums as a gun for hire. I mean how many bands can keep rotating lead singers playing bars and flog it over an over…..
    This has no interest to me I thought the live tracks would but they don’t ……total pass on this one……

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    1. According to Ye Olde Facebooks, it’s Jon’s birthday today. Happy birthday buddy. See, I tell you these things so you don’t have to use social media! (Although technically WordPress is a form of social media.)

      Sorry, I’m rambling. Anyway, you are wise to pass. They could have edited this down to a great 4 song EP…

      Like

    1. Try the Paul Shortino-fronted album QR. Doesn’t sound like Quiet Riot at all, but the songs are great. Other than that, they have nothing worthwhile out there at all.

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    2. Don’t go by what others say. Explore the other albums like: Terrified, Down to the Bone, Alive and Well and Guilty Pleasures…all with the classic Metal Health Lineup.

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        1. No, I realize you’re new here, but you can search all my QR reviews in the “search” field up top. There you are welcome to enjoy all the reviews and see my thoughts and arguments about them. Cheers!

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    1. Yup it’s true, and there are still more stinkers to review. Guilty Pleasures I haven’t done yet. I haven’t reviewed Conditional Critical but it’s gotten a lot better over the years. When I first got it, I didn’t like most of the songs.

      I am working on a review of Metal Health however, that’s in the editing stage.

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      1. Ah… Metal Health. The classic debut featuring the original members!

        I’d imagine Condition Critical might have aged well cause it’s been followed by so much dreck? The only Quiet Riot album I’ve ever heard the whole way through is the Randy Rhoads era comp and I thought that was alright. I would maybe buy Metal Health depending on your review.

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        1. I think Metal Health is the best one. Condition Critical was the “carbon copy” followup that is never as good as the original. I mean, Christ, they did ANOTHER FUCKING SLADE COVER on it.

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        2. If anyone finds the PB albums on CD (Standing In The Dark or Alien Shores, especially), I wants ’em! For some reason they seem to be hard to come by. I should put ’em on my Grail list, I guess. On it!

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  2. Cue Gilligan and Cue The Skipper and cue the Crew of the SS Minnow(present day QR members) …we are headed for a deserted island …….

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    1. Well dude, I don’t know. They still have a lot of fans who are just glad to see them playing in any form. I wouldn’t be surprised if I catch some hate for this review. However, play this back to back against the new Helix and tell me they are even close to the same level in quality. Nuh-uh! I am sure Jon will agree with me on that.

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  3. It’s quite interesting that once again we see eye to eye on the band but not on the songs. Kepps things fresh and makes for a good discussion. :-D

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  4. I remember you ranting about the re-writing of the history books on Wiki. It’s a shame. Lots of bands had different early line-ups or sounds or whatever. Who cares? Listen to the one you like and ignore the rest. No big deal.

    Yikes. Man, maye QR should just stop. Crap album after crap album, no original members left. It’s sounding to me like they shoulda hung up their skates a while ago.

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        1. Well I’ve done it before as this blog certainly shows. I just hate the idea of having to provide my own CD. They’re not some indi band with zero budget. They’re Quiet Riot. They should be able to press some CDs. If my sister can release an album on CD so can Quiet Riot.

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  5. >10 is the name of that album, another thing I find a little disrespectful. The name 10 seems to me to imply it’s their 10th album. It’s not;

    Well…two albums after “Metal Health” was titled “QR III“.

    Liked by 1 person

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