rockaxis | divine-justice–quiet-riot—imposter-syndrome

rockaxis | divine-justice–quiet-riot—imposter-syndrome
rockaxis | divine-justice–quiet-riot—imposter-syndrome

In an interview conducted months before his death, Quiet Riot drummer Frankie Banali acknowledged that “our intention before recording the Slade cover was to boycott ‘Cum On Feel The Noize’. Kevin (DuBrow, vocals) despised the song because it wasn’t the kind of music we listened to.” Quiet Riot had come to the studio without having rehearsed on purpose so that the producer would dismiss the recording and not include it on the album. “MetalHealth”. But at that point, the band had consolidated musicians, and in just a few minutes they were already playing it impeccably. They weren’t one of those who could leave things halfway and in the end they ended up recording a version that unless you live in a cave isolated from the world, on the top of a hill or come from another planet, you already know.

Quiet Riot had been formed 10 years earlier. In his first stage, he recorded two albums that were only released in Japan and to date have not been released in the United States. The group at that time was made up of, according to the version of his own partners, unbearable vocalist Kevin DuBrow; and none other than Randy Rhoads, the legendary and influential guitarist on Ozzy Osbourne’s early solo efforts. The other members of this first lineup were drummer Drew Forsyth and bassist Kelly Garni, but the impossibility of getting a contract with a label that would release them in North America led Randy Rhoads to add Ozzy, who immediately hooked up with him. musician, being impressed by his way of playing. With the loss of the guitarist, the lack of direction and the usual internal disagreements, this first group dissolved for a while in 1980.

In 1982 after the plane crash in which Rhoads died; DuBrow’s now-classic lineup of Sarzo, Cavazo and Banali came together to record the song “Thunderbird” in honor of his late partner. Apparently this meeting was so fruitful that a large part of the songs that would make up “Metal Health” came out of the sessions and rehearsals, the album, which became No. 1 on Billboard in 1983, becoming the first album of the Metal genre. to reach that place. With this they achieved the elusive international fame; mainly due to the hit single ‘Cum On Feel The Noize’, and since a cover of Slade had brought them out of anonymity, they repeated the formula on their fourth album “Condition Critical”, with the song ‘Mama Weer All Crazee Now’ , also from the English band.

Three long years passed and in 1986 they released the strange, reviled but remarkable “QR III”, an album loaded with synths and mid-’80s fashion. After first being known as the Randy Rhoads band and after become known worldwide for two covers of a band that according to themselves confess, before they didn’t even listen, the problems of coexistence returned. And it must be very difficult to live harassed by a constant “imposter syndrome”; psychological phenomenon that causes those people who suffer from it despite being successful to suffer from a perpetual fear of “being discovered” as impostors, because they are not skillful enough, prodigious enough or in this case, they are not creative enough to get a album with their own songs and that this one be successful like the previous ones. The curse of not having listened to their instincts and sabotaging the ‘Cum On Feel The Noize’ session became a ghost that damaged the group’s confidence; the fame, sex, drugs and rock and roll of the mid-’80s weren’t helping either. To make things even worse, the eminent bass player and also ex-Ozzy Osbourne, Rudy Sarzo, left the band because according to him he couldn’t stand DuBrow anymore and was replaced by Chuck Wright, who had played with them before.

The album begins with disconcerting keyboards that initially remind us of the introduction of ‘Baba O’Riley’ by The Who, to which are added drums with that unmistakable eighties ‘reverb’ along with layers of voices, giving shape to ‘ Main Attraction’, an excellent start to the album, which, however, marked a huge difference with the previous sound of the band. That same year, their old rivals Van Halen had released “5150” and Judas Priest, with whom they shared a label (CBS), released “Turbo”, an album with a sound very similar to “QR III”. The reaction of the metalhead public of the time was rejection by refusing to listen to something that deviated so much from the characteristic guitar sound of “Metal Health” and “Condition Critical”, without giving an opportunity to an album that offered quite attractive content after a false sonic wrap.

‘The Wild And The Young’, the second song; it begins with powerful choruses surely meant to be sung by a stadium. The sound is also very typical of the eighties, with the “big sound” on the drums and sampled voice effects a la Def Leppard, but the excess production does not harm what would be the anthem of the album and a classic of the band, that represented the feeling of a generation that was young and wild and that thought they had the world in their hands, just as the band itself felt after the success of “Metal Health”. It is followed by the huge ‘Twiligth Hotel’, a kind of full-fledged power l, largely saved by the excellent performance and impetus of DuBrow’s powerful voice; you can tell that the band was leaving their soul on this album and this great song is a good example of it. ‘Down And Dirty’, as its name says, is part dull and dirty, with a great solo by Cavazo, but it becomes something more with its more dance rhythm and a beat close to hip-hop, perhaps in another attempt at catch up with the most commercial sounds of the time. It is followed by ‘Rise Or Fall’, which concluded the first side of the album on a high note, with another powerful and catchy song and some rather Priest-like “Turbo” riffs.

The second side opens with ‘Put Up Or Shut Up’, a happy song that lifts the spirits, ideal to play in the background at a party. Perhaps it is the song that is most closely related to the classic sound of the previous albums, absolutely recommended if you like to burn calories listening to some eighties action movie soundrack. It is followed by ‘Still Of the Night’, a full-fledged ballad, which highlights Dubrow’s interpretation and a bass line with a lot of feeling from Wright. Precisely Wright has his moment of solo presentation on the album with ‘Bass Case’, a small instrumental of almost a minute that precedes ‘The Pump’ and its very Zeppelinian groove courtesy of Banali’s great drums, which becomes more and more increasingly interesting as the guitars are added, all very well wrapped up with a synthesizer that sounds similar to the one used in Rush’s ‘Tom Sawyer’. It is followed by ‘Slave To Love’, the second AOR (Adult Oriented Rock) song on the album, a melodic mid-tempo with a great vocal performance by Dubrow in quite sugary tessituras. The end of the album and of this stage of Quiet Riot is ‘Helping Hands’, an excellent swan song, in which they talk about friendship, companionship, staying together and hope for the future, quite the opposite of what was happening with the band at that moment.

After this album, the debacle came; DuBrow couldn’t stand it anymore and he is eventually kicked out of a self-destructing gang. But “QR III” despite all the internal turbulence, despite having a sound that is not the band’s classic and despite the excessively glamorous outfits worn by the band members on the back cover, it is a great album; an album that we could not say went unnoticed, because it reached number 31 on the US charts, but unfortunately, despite the efforts of its members, it did not reach the success of its previous albums. In the end, Rock is also art, although the industry usually forgets it and only cares about sales figures. Therefore, with the perspective that time gives, an act of Divine Justice was needed with “QR III”, because it is a much better album than everyone believes or remembers.

Javier Glisser Zapata