Quiet Riot – ‘Road Rage

 


THE BAND:
James Durbin - lead vocals
Alex Grossi – guitar
Chuck Wright – bass
Frankie Banali – drums

 

 

TRACK LISTING:
1.) ”Can’t Get Enough” – This track opened with the first and third guitar riff as the same riff. While the second and fourth where the same riff with added notes.  Underneath the riffs there was a drum and bass line.  After these four riffs Frankie hits several cymbal crashes to connect the intro with the musical verse.  After the four cymbal crashes James kicks in the lead vocals for the verse.  The guitar track underneath the lyric lines consisted of several rest this let James vocal become the main focus of the arrangement.  When Alex does play a riffs they are almost heavy metal blues riffs.  For the musical verse Alex changed the not only changed the rhythm guitar arrangement however kicked-in the effects pedal.  This allowed the chorus to really smack you in the face! There was a sixteenth-note cymbal crash in between the lead vocals of the opening chorus and the main chorus.  The second chorus was basically a repeat of the first as was the chorus.  After the chorus there was a short drum fill that lead to the lead guitar solo.  Over the top of the first few lead guitar notes there was a James lead vocal line.  The solo Alex wrote for this track was just a straightforward rock and roll song.  After the solo the song goes back into the chorus.  Over the top of the coda was a chorus over the top of a minor lead guitar solo.

2.) ”Getaway”- This intro opens with a Middle Eastern musical arrangement.  Over the top of the Middle Eastern intro there was a small vocal accent.  There was a vibraslap (is a percussion instrument consisting of a piece of stiff wire {bent into a U-shape} connecting a wood ball to a hollow box of wood with metal “teeth” inside) The vibraslap started in the left speaker traveling through both then out the right.  The vibraslap lead to a snare/tom-tom drum fill that connected this Middle Eastern intro with the musical verse.  Frankie, Chuck and Alex play the same rhythm notes for the opening musical verse.  The way the guys arranged the music arrangement there was a rhythm guitar rest underneath the first half of the second and fourth lyric lines.  After these two lyric lines there was a backing vocal.  Because the musical verse was arranged this way it allowed the drum line to be the main focus.  I really like some of the bass drum foot work Frankie done.  There was a small was a short snare drum fill connecting the third and fourth measures.  There was a drum fill connecting the musical verse with the musical chorus.  There was a rhythm arrangement change for the musical chorus.  For the chorus Alex played a very simple chord progression.  James vocal lines followed right along with this progression.  Underneath the rhythm guitar arrangement there was a huge bass line.  The second verse was musically a repeat of the first verse.  After the second chorus there was a musical and vocal breakdown.  After the breakdown there was a lead guitar solo.  Over the solo James sings a few vocal accents.  At one point over the solo James sings/screams the same notes as the ones Alex is playing on guitar.  In doing so you really get the chance to hear just how great of a vocalist James is!  Underneath James’s vocal accents of the coda there was a minor lead guitar solo. This song ends with a lyric line.
3.) ”Roll This Joint” –This track opens with Frankie kicking the band in.  Alex wrote a fairly simple rock riff for the musical intro of this track.  After about two measures there was a snare drum fill to connect the musical intro with the musical verse.  The second guitar riff of intro was added to another riff of the musical verse.  Before each lyric line Frankie added a small hi-hat opening and closing note.  Over the top of the rhythm guitar of the musical chorus Alex overdubbed a few lead guitar licks.  I felt like the guys wrote a very nice vocal hook for the choruses of this song.  Underneath the last few lyric lines of the second chorus Alex played lead guitar notes that went along with what James was singing. Over the top of the lead guitar solo there was a couple vocal accents.  The solo Alex wrote for this song had a much laid back feel to it. Over the top of the rhythm guitar of the third chorus Alex overdubbed a few lead guitar licks.
4.) ”Freak Flag” – This intro opens with a real mean sounding guitar riff.  After about one measure Alex overdubbed a second rhythm guitar arrangement.  These two guitar arrangements gave the song a real heavy sound.  It was at this time Frankie kicked in the drum line.  The opening drum line consisted of several cymbal chokes along with tom-tom fills.  In between the cymbal chokes Frankie kept time with his hi-hat.  Over the top of the final measure leading to the opening lyric line James sang a huge vocal scream.  The vocal strength James has just boggles your mind.  There was a short drum fill along with a couple cymbal crashes connecting the intro with musical verse.  The musical verse consisted of mainly a drum and bass line.  Over the top of the bass and drums Alex mainly played fill-in chords.  All of this allowed James vocals to be highlighted.  James’s vocal line of the verses was what made this song sound so amazing.  As the verse progressed the studio engineer slowly turned up Alex’s guitar track.  Every now and then through the verse you can hear a second guitar.  This is just a note or two.  There was a small snare drum fill connecting the musical verse with the musical chorus.  The chorus consisted of a rhythm arrangement change.  The lead and backing vocals of the chorus consisted of an amazing hook.  I have not heard a hook this sweet in years.  After the chorus there was a snare/tom-tom fill along with a lead guitar effect to connect the first chorus with the second verse.  For the guitar effect Alex hit the tremolo bar eight times.  There was a musical rest underneath the last lyric line of the third chorus.  After the third chorus there was a musical breakdown section.  The drum line of the breakdown consisted of a hi-hat and bass drum pattern. Over the top of the breakdown section there was a spoken vocal.  I would swear this spoken vocal was done by legendary vocalist Alice Cooper.  At the end of the breakdown there was a huge vocal scream that lead to the lead guitar solo.  The lead guitar solo was very short however the way it was arranged fit the song perfect.  The coda consisted of the same vocal of te breakdown over the top of several backing harmonies.
5.) ”Wasted” –This track opens with a single guitar chord.  As the chord progressed they turned the volume up.  The rhythm guitar arrangement of the musical intro had a nice solid groove.  Frankie’s hi-hat consisted of an opening and closing pattern.  Two measures into the intro and Alex overdubbed a second guitar arrangement.  This second arrangement was done with lead licks.  There was a small snare drum fill connecting the musical intro with the musical verse.  The second lyric line of the verse consisted of a backing vocal.  There was a rhythm change for the musical chorus.  The second verse was arranged just like the first one.  After the second chorus there was a lead guitar solo.  Alex used a fuzz box effects pedal for the guitar solo.  When the hook of this song gets a hold of you it absolutely does not let go!  The coda consisted of the same rhythm as the intro did except there was a minor twin lead guitar solo.
6.)”Still Wild” –This track opens with a Banali drum pattern.  This drum rhythm was heavily influenced by the legendary drummer John Bonham.  After one measure the rhythm guitar kicks in.  The band used the same rhythm guitar arrangement for the musical verse as the one for the intro.  There was a rhythm arrangement change for the musical chorus.  The underneath the first few lyric lines of the chorus there was several musical rests letting James’s vocals become the main focus,  At the end of the send chorus there was a musical rest.  James carried out the last lyric over the top of this musical rest.  Because of this arrangement the listener really gets a great feel on just how great of a vocalist James is.  The song kicks back in with a complete arrangement change.  After this musical change there was ac lead guitar solo.
7.)”Make A Way” – This song consisted of a huge seventies rock feel to it.  As a former drummer I have to say the drum and bass lines of this song was amazing!!!!  Alex out done himself on the two lead guitar solos. 
8.) ”Renegades” – This track opens with a Frankie Banali drum rhythm.  This one measure opening drum rhythm had an almost syncopated feel to it.  After one measure Alex kicked-in the rhythm guitar.  For the rhythm guitar track of the intro Alex overdubbed two different rhythm guitar arrangements.  About one measure after the guitar arrangements begin Frankie plays a snare drum fill followed by a couple cymbal crashes. There was a snare drum fill connecting the musical intro with musical verse.  There was a rhythm guitar change for the musical verse.  Alex played a very simple-le rhythm guitar arrangement for the musical verse.  For the second verse James’s vocals were double-tracked.  After the second verse there was a huge snare/tom-tom fill leading into the chorus.  There was a rhythm change for the musical chorus.  The choruses were very simple with huge hooks.  For the third verse it sounded like Frankie changed his bass drum pattern.  At the end of the second chorus underneath the last lyric there was a vocal scream.  The vocal screams lead to the lead guitar solo.  Alex wrote an amazing lead guitar solo for this song.  After the fourth chorus there was a drum/bass line breakdown section. This breakdown lasted through the coda.            
9.) ”The Road” – This was an amazing ballad!!!!!
10.) “Shame” –Off all the songs on the release this was my least favorite.
11.) ”Knock Em Down” – As a musician I really liked this song however it really did not in with the rest of the songs on the release.  In fact, they could have dropped it from the track listing and it would not have affecting the CD.




    Since losing Kevin Dubrow in 1997, let see here QR has gone through one, two, three, hell I’ve lost count.  In March 2017, it was announced that Nicols had left the band and that James Durbin was the new singer, was eliminated in the Top 4 on season 10 of American Idol.  As I watched American Idol with my ex-wife that year I told her then it wouldn’t be long before a heavy metal band would offer him a job.  An boy it didn’t take long for QR to pick him up.  I could have told you the day I read the press release that Frankie Banali made the perfect choice.  However, I had no clue.  I must admit up until I heard ‘Road rage’ my all-timer QR release was ‘QR’ with Paul Shortino (Rough Cutt & King Kobra).  ‘Road Rage’ makes the band thirteenth overall studio release.  Thirteen studio releases is a huge feet within the music business in this day and time and James Durbin fits perfectly!  With a new vocalist, plus label support Quiet Riot as taken a fresh approach on their music.  What a great approach it has been.  I never thought I would say this but James fits this band better than any vocalist they have ever had! (sorry Dubrow fans) ‘Road Rage could easily be heavy metal release of the year.  Yiu absolutely have to purchase this CD!!!!