The veteran hard rockers' 13th long-player and the inaugural outing for new vocalist and former American Idol contestant James Durbin, Road Rage is Quiet Riot's first physical collection of all-new material -- 2014's Jizzy Pearl-fronted 10 was digital-only -- since the 2007 death of the band's original frontman, Kevin DuBrow. Spearheaded by drummer Frankie Banali, the group's longest tenured member, the album was originally recorded with Seann Nicols behind the mike, who departed shortly after its completion. Unhappy with the results, QR brought in Durbin to re-record the vocals and rewrite some lyrics. On the one hand, the band sounds lean and mean, with Banali laying down some huge Bonham-esque beats for Alex Grossi (guitar) and Chuck Wright (bass) to spar with, but sonic might alone can't hide the fact that the songs themselves are wholly unremarkable. Durbin's got the pipes, but the whole affair feels a bit like karaoke (to use an American Idol trope). Also, his dark-ish lyrics are often in stark contrast to the party time vibe that Banali, Grossi, and Wright are dishing out, resulting in something that sounds nothing like the Quiet Riot of old, and a lot like a collection of pro-level demos in search of some focus, or maybe another Slade cover.
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AllMusic Review by James Christopher Monger