Welcome to the World of Riot

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Probably most notable for its novelty status -- to wit, it's the lone Latin rock effort ever issued on the Motown label -- Riot's sole LP Welcome to the World of Riot is otherwise forgettable, due largely to its stylistic incoherence. At various times evoking Latino antecedents spanning from Carlos Santana to Joe Bataan to José Feliciano, the album's scattershot approach quickly grows tiresome, especially when its most appealing ideas are given short thrift. The psych-funk opus "Just Beyond" is especially impressive thanks to John DeLuna's monolithic drums, while "Put Down Your Gun Brother" summons the spirit of War. Sadly, however, Riot's street-smart edge vanishes by the record's second half, and entries like "I'm Happy Just to Be Livin'" and "God Bless Conchita" settle for tepid grooves and clichéd Latin rhythms.

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