By: Jesse Striewski
If ever there was a band worthy of comparison to Spinal Tap, it has got to be today’s incarnation of Quiet Riot. As if the album cover didn’t already give it away, Hollywood Cowboys is as amateurish you might think.
On their second and now final studio album recorded with former singer James Durbin on vocals (former vocalist Jizzy Pearl has now stepped back in to fill the spot once again), once again what they’ve compiled here doesn’t sound much better than essentially a demo recording. I was honestly surprised the band didn’t rush back in to re-record Durbin’s vocals with Pearl, much like they had done when Durbin replaced previous singer Sean Nicols on 2017’s Road Rage album.
All things considered, some of the songs found here actually aren’t that bad. Tracks like “Insanity” actually contains some impressive guitar work, and “Hellbender” probably stands above everything else . But the mix is still so off throughout the entire album, with the drums simply overpowering everything else. Perfect example; look up lead off single “Don’t Call it Love” on YouTube and see how many people agree with that exact same sentiment in the comment section.
I’m not the kind of person who enjoys being overly critical for the sake of being harsh, but I’m also not going to sugar coat things. I actually really dug Quiet Riot back in the day (one of the best concerts I’ve actually ever been to was a bill they were on with Skid Row back in 2006, a year before original lead singer Kevin Dubrow’s untimely passing), and I honestly sympathize with drummer Frankie Banali’s recent cancer diagnosis (and wish him the best). But there’s a reason why some bands from their era don’t maintain the same status/ as an act like Motley Crue. There’s also usually a fairly good (and dysfunctional) reason for so many rotating lineups, and Durbin wisely stepped down from the current mess this band has sadly become.
Rating: 1.5/5 Stars