The passing 2019 was a year of many releases from old honored bands. Few days ago Pretty Maids‘ new album was released and in the same time there was a new release from Glam Metal veterans Quiet Riot named Hollywood Cowboys.
A little bit of history: Quiet Riot is known as a band that was first not only to hit the Billboard charts (that was mean a lot in 1983) but stayed there on high positions for a long time. Also this was the first band of legendary guitarist Randy Rhoads before he started to play with Ozzy Osbourne.
The truth is that it’s the only big achievement of Quiet Riot because after that it went not so good for the band. Many times it split up and reunited again, line-up was changed constantly and today only drummer Frankie Banalli and coming/going bassist Chuck Wright remained from original line-up. Guitarist Alex Grossi plays in Quite Riot since 2004 and the youngest one in the band is vocalist James Durbin.
“From my perspective, it is the most varied Quiet Riot record that I have ever worked on, – says Frankie Banalli about Hollywood Cowboys, – So I think it’s gonna cover a lot of bases, I think it’s going to surprise a lot of people, and I hope it’ll be a pleasant surprise. But, again, it’s the most varied record that I think Quiet Riot has ever done.” Well, such a big statement sounds very ambitious, but also gives rise to controversy. Yes, there is some variety in the album, but overall it’s exactly the same Glam Metal, which Quiet Riot played for the last 30 years with little deviations. “Don’t Call It Love”, “Heartbreak City”, “Holding On” and “Wild Horses” are the songs that seems like they came straight from 80s, from L.A. Sunset Strip. It’s classic Glam Metal, loud, rhythmical, with catchy choruses (which you forget quite quickly, to tell the truth). Also I need to say a word about James Durbin’s vocal, who tries to sing like Kevin DuBrow (R.I.P.) and it works.
There are some heavier tracks though: “The Devil You Know” with intro a-la Motorhead, “Insanity” and “Last Outcast” with double pedal. And the most outstanding song in Hollywood Cowboys is bluesy “Roll On”. Actually it’s a typical Blues Rock with good bass line and gorgeous solo guitar.
All of this could sound really good if not the album’s mix. I really don’t know how it happened and why but the mix is disgusting and totally failed. For some reason, drums are the loudest in the album, then you can hear a bass and the guitar is almost impossible to hear. Also sometimes it turns to one whole mush and you need to make an effort to hear some instrument, like in “Insanity”. The vocals are above this, but it doesn’t help much.
Really, I don’t know why it was done this way? Quiet Riot forgot how to mix their albums? Maybe it was some deliberate sabotage? Or as creators, that’s how they see their piece of art? I can’t get why this not outstanding but not bad at all album should be ruined by mix like this. Anyway, I don’t know who can like this album in the form like it now, maybe only some diehard Quiet Riot fans.
Hollywood Cowboys was released on November, 8 via Frontiers Music srl.