ARTIST: Quiet Riot
ALBUM: Alive And Well
LABEL: Deadline Records
SERIAL: CLP 0489-2
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
LINEUP: Kevin DuBrow - vocals * Carlos Cavazo - guitars * Rudy Sarzo - bass * Frankie Banali - drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 Don't Know What I Want * 02 Angry * 03 Alive And Well * 04 The Ritual * 05 Overworked And Underpaid * 06 Slam Dunk (Way To Go) * 07 Too Much Information * 08 Against The Wall * 09 The Wait * 10 Highway To Hell * 11 Sign Of The Times (1999) * 12 Don't Wanna Let You Go (1999) * 13 The Wild And The Young (1999) * 14 Mama Weer All Crazee Now (1999) * 15 Cum On Feel The Noize (1999) * 16 Metal Health [Bang Your Head] (1999)
'Alive And Well' represented the classic lineup of Quiet Riot's first visit to the studio since 1984's 'Condition Critical'. DuBrow and Cavazo had resurrected the name back in 1993 with Kevin Hilary and Pat Ashby (bass and drums) and released 'Terrified'. Two years later Banali was back in the fold for 'Down To The Bone'. It took an invitation by Marilyn Manson
for a special show to coax Sarzo back and after heavy touring the lads decided things were better than ever. Only eight new tracks were recorded for this album 'Alive And Well', the rest consisting of an AC/DC
cover (Highway To Hell) and six re-recorded QR 80's classics.
While many one time contemporaries (Motley Crue, Ratt, Dokken
) had succumbed to more modern sounds, Quiet Riot managed to maintain their vintage sound, while not sounding dated. 'Don't Know What I Want' opens with some familiar Cavazo power chords and some blinding Keith Moon
type drum fills and splashes from the explosive Banali. The melodic crunch is fierce, startling hard rock. 'Angry' has a hint of Van Halen
in the guitar tone, but once the unique backing harmonies kick in, comparisons are pointless. The song title is reflected easily in the harsh manner of the music. The title track is more jubilant, with self-autobiographical lyrics from DuBrow who might have permanently damaged his voice from the screaming here! 'The Ritual' goes for a darker vibe, heavy on bass and a muscular chorus. DuBrow gets things off his chest with 'Overworked And Underpaid', his ode to an early morning radio gig he had before Quiet Riot went full time again. On this one there are hints of a modern rock guitar present, but it also has great lyrical sentiment. Perhaps the most blatant 80's throwback of all time is heard in 'Slam Dunk (Way To Go)', with a sound straight from '84. Good time hard rock, with some raunchy riffs. Subject matter? Figure it out! 'Too Much Information' is adequate if nothing else, but 'Against The Wall' raises the wall of noise some more. A superb flowing hook and lyrics like 'I'm in the danger zone every single night' rate highly on the credibility scale. The bonus tracks are barely worth a mention, they've been done before and better.
Of course QR are still out there playing anywhere they can and in 2001 released 'Guilty Pleasures', perhaps the best album of that year and worth a review of its own. QR are a rare beast in that their current material is equal to, if not better, than their 80's output. They have achieved this because they haven't radically changed direction and instead stuck to their strengths, which is playing traditional hard rock. 'Alive And Well' is one of the only late 90's rock albums with any basic power, one that sounds genuine and on the level. It's almost power trio stuff ranking with The Who
. For those in the know, bloody essential.
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