Road Rage

Quiet Riot

Quiet Riot has come back stronger than ever with their 2017 studio album Road Rage. Steered by drummer Frankie Banali, who has worked overtime to bring this band back since 2010, Quiet Riot features Alex Grossi on guitar (with Quiet Riot since 2004), Chuck Wright on bass (in and out of the band since 1982), and American Idol singer James Durbin. Though Road Rage was originally recorded with the band’s previous singer Seann Nicols, it was decided by both the band and its label to re-record these tracks with Durbin. For a band that has seen a revolving door of lead singers (the band’s original singer Kevin DuBrow died in 2007), the ongoing saga of this quartet has been interesting to say the least.

Not to worry though because waiting for Road Rage just makes an album this good that much more of a gift. This 11-song rock barrage begins with the snapping snare of Banali and Grossi allowing for lots of space on “Can’t Get Enough.” This track sets up a sitar intro for “Getaway,” with its shouting “No No’s” and Banali driving the band forward as it mines Aerosmithesque soundscapes.

“Wasted” speaks directly to the legacy of DuBrow and what an old-school rocker like him leaves behind when he burns out way too early. “Still Wild” provides Banali with a “When The Levee Breaks” platform, and features a truly startling vocal and a mature sensibility to the songwriting. Most of the tunes on Road Rage either begin with the drums or feature them prominently, confirming that the band’s guiding light is still a very solid rock drummer. We get the ubiquitous power ballad, “The Road,” notable mostly for how high Durbin can strike with his pipes. Altogether, Road Rage is a well-written, hard-played, finely produced rock and roll record from one of hard rock’s true survivors.

~ Ralph Greco. Jr.

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