Part 2 of my 2-part review of the Quiet Riot Twin Pack set. Twin Pack bundled the band’s final two releases: a retro live album, and the final studio album, Rehab.
QUIET RIOT – Rehab (2006 Demolition)
I love Quiet Riot, even more than I have reason to. Metal Health was the first “metal” album I ever bought, on cassette, and I’ve re-bought it three more times since. I just love that album, and I admit it’s probably 60% music and 40% nostalgia. Since it came out, I’ve managed to collect a lot of Quiet Riot. Prize possessions are my CD copies of Quiet Riot I and II. This Twin Pack set was important to me because the version of Rehab contained herein has the European bonus track, “Wired To the Moon”.
It turns out, however, that Rehab kinda sucks. It has its supporters who enjoyed the heavier, bluesier sound. Rehab unfortunately repeats the problem that Quiet Riot have had for many years: they don’t write very many good songs! Kevin DuBrow and Frankie Banali were reduced to a duo after the departures of Rudy Sarzo (who went on to Dio and is now in Tateryche) and Carlos Cavazo (now in Ratt). Rehab had the right ingredients in place, with the awesome Tony Franklin on bass and Glenn Hughes providing backup vocals, but it was not to be. I give them an A for effort, as I am usually in favour of heavying up the sound and adding blues elements. They get a D for execution.
The concept was to leave behind the glam rock, but the songwriting is so underpar. Choruses and verses don’t mesh, melodies don’t stick in the head, and riffs don’t hit you where it hurts. The best song, “South of Heaven”, is a really good Zep-ish tune though. “Strange Ways” features an incredible solo by Neil Citron, like a cross between jazz fusion and Eddie Van Halen. Jazz Halen? On the other hand, “Old Habits Die Hard” is one of the more colossal failures. Aping Joe Cocker’s “With A Little Help From My Friends”, DuBrow sinks this one all by himself with his overwrought lead vocal.
There are some good moments. Pretty much all the guitar solos and instrumental sections are incredible. The drums are good. A song called “Beggars and Thieves” is one of the better songs, because it is anthemic and memorable like old Quiet Riot. Unfortunately, that cannot be said of most of this material. Glenn Hughes classes up the place by several notches when he shows up at the end, but this also highlights Kevin DuBrow’s limitations.
I dislike the cover art and packaging. DuBrow’s wig, oh my God. Seriously? The old Quiet Riot logo is also gone, and the masked mascot dude is barely visible. The album was self-produced by Kevin and Frankie, but they really should have spent some money on a producer with a decent set of ears. These songs would not have passed muster with any serious producer. The title of Quiet Riot’s final album is now a sad irony, considering DuBrow’s overdose at age 52.
And sadly, almost unbelievably, the band’s legacy has been tarnished even further with Banali’s hack version of the band currently touring without any original members. And Kevin rolls in his grave.