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By Andrew Depedro, Ottawa Corespondent
Saturday, August 9, 2014 @ 7:42 AM

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RSM Records

They were axe grinders. Pile drivers. Their mothers said that they never ever minded them. Even they didn't mind when original guitarist Randy Rhoads was headhunted by the Prince Of Darkness for two studio albums before his sudden death in 1982. By 1983 their breakthrough album Metal Health dominated the charts and propelled them albeit briefly to superstardom status following their performance at the legendary US Festival alongside MOTLEY CRUE and VAN HALEN that same year. But after a long stretch of feeling the noize as the girls rocked their boys the saga of Sunset Strip veterans QUIET RIOT would go wild, wild, wild. When they weren't struggling to keep their original lineup from coming apart during the recordings of their follow-up albums such as Condition Critical and QR they were fighting afterwards to stay musically relevant by the time flannel and jeans were replacing denim and leather in the rock scene. They did have several comeback attempts by the time the 2000's came round but nothing could top their pinnacle years and before 2007 ended, sadly culminating with the shock passing of their enigmatic frontman Kevin DuBrow it looked like the QUIET RIOT name would be silenced for good.

Understandably, for longtime members Frankie Banali (the band's longtime manager) and Chuck Wright, the whole ordeal would be enough to make one bang their heads. Repeatedly. In frustration. I mean, yes, the band they had been a part of for the past 30+ years may not have had the most stellar of careers in comparison to their other LA counterparts but that didn't mean that they needed to immediately go out in a blaze of silent glory. That was why with a little help from some friends such as Alex Grossi and Jizzy Pearl, QUIET RIOT were given a new lease on life. They had spent the last decade or so touring extensively around the world even with DuBrow still alive and well at the time but there was the growing need to release new material. And they had recorded several tracks which were ready to be committed to the studio before that fateful event in November of 2007. Initially Banali had declared that QUIET RIOT would no longer be a touring or recording band following DuBrow's passing but he recanted upon getting the blessing from DuBrow's mother to continue the band. Luckily, nearly 7 years later, those compositions would now finally see the light of day following some vocal re-tracking and thus QUIET RIOT 10 (the band's 12th studio album. Math does not appear to be their strongest suit) would be born - not just through some new music by the current lineup but also as an added bonus some recordings of the last shows which they did with DuBrow.

The opening number "Rock In Peace" is, naturally, a tribute to the late great frontman and Jizzy Pearl honours his memory well on the track. Brief yet brimming with much praise and lament for Kevin DuBrow, the song said all that it needed to be said about the man in 4 minutes and moved onwards. DuBrow would have wanted it that way. Meanwhile, Pearl gives some serious gritty-sounding blues-influenced vocal cred to songs such as "Bang For Your Buck", "Band Down" and "Dogbone Alley". Not exactly the most cleverly-titled songs you'll be hearing in your lifetime but bear in mind that this is the first QUIET RIOT album in 8 years which doesn't feature DuBrow's powerful vocals in any newly recorded songs in the studio. I think they pulled it off pretty damn well with Jizzy Pearl in command of the mic given the circumstances. But it's the four live tracks featuring Kevin DuBrow which will be of particular interest to fans. Mostly because they signified the last time he would ever perform with the band but also because the live performances reflected how much more strong QUIET RIOT were as a live act than they were as a studio band. And at least when Frankie Banali was selecting the song choices for the album he took a risk in not opting for another live version of the usual QR standards which everyone's heard several times over. Kevin DuBrow may not have been the most gifted of vocalists to many ears but he seemed to be incapable of putting on a less-than-exciting performance. On the disc he gives lesser-known songs such as "Put Up Or Shut Up" and "Free" his trademark gritty powerful signature voice. And even though QUIET RIOT were known mostly for their catchy covers, you'd be surprised to know that upon seeing "South Of Heaven" on the track cover, that's actually an original song from 2006's rather underrated opus Rehab from the band's revisited 70's period and clearly not the band's attempt at SLAYER's catalogue. That said, I'd have preferred if the live portion of QUIET RIOT 10 had climaxed with at least another track from Rehab as "Rock 'N Roll Medley", while exhibiting some decent musicianship, was rather tame and didn't really stand out as much as I had hoped. It was one long overadventurous jam session for the most part and just seemed like filler.

Otherwise, QUIET RIOT 10 helps to add another chapter to the band's legacy and there's plenty of material of their own to merit the band's capacity in rockin' the suburbs for many more years to come.

3.5 Out Of 5.0

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