I’ve always had a soft spot for QUIET RIOT. Through their post-heyday, I would pick up their new releases, managing to find some degree of merit to each one. The problem was, with each release getting further and further away from 1983; the material seemed to become more and more dated; the worst offenders ranged from corny to comical. It’s almost ironic that for the band to seem fresh again, they needed to go TRULY retro. And that’s just what they’ve done on “Rehab.”
I believe the original spark was with Kevin’s solo cover CD “In For The Kill.” Its delivery was passionate and urgent, and the selections displayed an inspired mix of slightly left field classic 70’s hard rock. In a glut of cover albums, it was one of the few worth repeat listening, and a perfect template to invigorate QUIET RIOT.
Now, I don’t believe the classic 80’s line-up was ever known to be the most prolific songwriters, so bringing in some fresh blood really worked wonders. Session guitarist Neil Citron, GREAT WHITE’s Michael Lardie and touring member Alex Grossi helped Kevin and Frankie deliver on their new vision.
And then there’s the Voice Of Rock, Glenn Hughes, whose mojo can be heard all over this album. Be it his swaggering funk infused co-writing or his show-stealing vocal duet with Kevin on the album’s highlight, the SPOOKY TOOTH chestnut “Evil Woman,” he might just be the secret ingredient driving this record.
Other tracks of note include “Black Reign,” with its Jimmy Page riff complimenting the busy Who-esque rhythm section. “Old Habits Die Hard” is a wonderful smoky Hammond organ ballad ala THE FACES, complete with female backing vocals. On paper, it wouldn’t seem very QUIET RIOT, but damn, it really works!
I’ve always dug Kevin’s voice, and like on his solo album, it shows he’s comfortable with the new material. Although Rudy Sarzo is no longer a member, stepping in for him is the legendary Tony Franklin (THE FIRM / BLUE MURDER), whose innovative fretless bass playing and creative counter-melodies bring a dynamic new depth to the material. Frankie, always a monster, shows why he’s still in-demand as a session player. Able to channel between Bonzo and Moon effortlessly, he’s ever a pleasure to listen to, definitely under-appreciated.
Now, changing formulas after 25 plus years might seem a bit risky. But by delving back into their roots, the band has found new vitality and spirit we haven’t seen in years. “Rehab” still has plenty of 80’s a metal sensibility, but marriages it well with the soulful grooves of the 70’s. For QUIET RIOT to be relevant in 2006, “Rehab” might just well be what the doctor ordered.
- Kevin Dubrow – Vocals
- Frankie Banali – Drums
- Tony Franklin – Bass
- Neil Citron – Guitar
- Glenn Hughes – additional Bass, Vocals
- Blind Faith
- South Of Heaven
- Black Reign
- Old Habits Die Hard
- Strange Daze
- In Harms Way
- Beggars And Thieves
- Don't Think
- It Sucks To Be You
- Evil Woman (featuring Glenn Hughes)