QUIET RIOT – Hollywood Cowboys
- by J.N.
- Posted on 08-01-2020
In hard rock and heavy metal circles, Quiet Riot is a cool and well-respected phenomenon and for good reason as these guys have churned out some classic and much-loved records over the years, and the 2017 effort entitled “Road Rage” definitely proved that these guys could still rock with the best of them. Although the talented vocalist James Durbin is no longer a part of the ensemble, he did record the vocal tracks for this new LP of theirs before he jumped ship, but the great news is that he clearly poured his heart and soul into singing these pieces judging from his performance throughout ‘Hollywood Cowboys’.
With a prevalent focus on strong riffs, melodic hooks, a groovy rhythm section, and a pretty solid drive, ‘Hollywood Cowboys’ is filled with big choruses and hum-able parts that kick ass. The bluesy workout “Roll On” is a real gem and the rumbling “Insanity” has raw nerve and grit aplenty to it. Other notable cuts include the passionate “Holding On” and the superbly written “Heartbreak City” as well as “The Devil You Know” and “Change or Die”, but “Wild Horses” and “Hellbender” fall by the wayside and lack substance and staying power, so there are a couple of places where the disc loses its momentum and comes across as mundane and generic. Actually, the closing track “Arrows and Angels” is not altogether that interesting either now that I think about it. The slightly unpolished feel and vibe of the record suits the song material nicely too, which is always a great thing.
In many ways, ‘Hollywood Cowboys’ comes across as an enjoyable and confident offering, and in terms of style and atmosphere, it sounds just like a Quiet Riot output ought to sound in 2019 to these ears. Granted, it might not set the world on fire or melt your brain, but the majority of tunes are memorable and Frankie Banali and his troops turn in an energetic performance overall. Well worth checking out and a cool addition to the Quiet Riot discography.