Quiet Riot – “Hollywood Cowboys”
Label: Frontiers Records
Review: Dawn Osborne
Fourteen records in and Quiet Riot have produced another great album with lots of light and shade, some catchy singles, some bluesy grooves and an altogether very interesting offering.
Opener ‘Don’t Call it Love’ has a deliciously AOR chorus with a driving back end like a Crue record in some ways more sophisticated than early QR with a lot of layers to the production. ‘In the Blood’ has a groove a bit like a Kingdom Come record, but the chorus is an interesting fast paced unusual chorus almost Middle Eastern sounding with a full bodied guitar. The chorus again reflects mature songwriting coming up with something a little out of the ordinary. Another single ‘Heartbreak City’ has another piledriving rhythm… I guess you can expect it with the legendary Frankie Banali on drums, but there’s a smooth as butter chorus ending with some falsetto screams and a nice little guitar solo by Alex Grossi, too. ‘Roll on’ is a bluesy track which most people would probably not recognize as Quiet Riot on first listen, but I was a great fan of the band’s version of Guy Darrell’s song, also covered by Spooky Tooth ‘Evil Woman’ from QR’s ‘Rehab’ album, so if you enjoyed that you’ll love this too as I did. ‘Hellbender’ is more balladry and groove-laden than the title might suggest. ‘Wild Horses’ has a huge amount of harmonies in the vocal and is more of a traditional melodic rock record with a slight 60’s feel. ’Holding On’ continues that with its raucous Joplin-esque vocal. ‘Last Outcast’ and ‘Insanity’ are more straightforward metal songs again with the driving rhythm and scorching guitar solos and more of a Judas Priest style vocal. ‘Arrows and Angels’ is a bit of a punky pop record and a little bit English sounding. How’s that for Diversity?!
A great record, although with the resignation of vocalist James Durbin and the rejoining of Jizzy Pearl the band are set to embark on a new chapter. With Frankie setting himself a full schedule despite news of his illness and fighting cancer with every fiber of his being, we look forward to more from the band. Quiet Riot has overcome a lot of obstacles and Frankie is known for his single minded determination and loyalty to the QR legacy. With this excellent album in their back pocket and the energy and talent to do a lot more, I’m a believer!