Quiet Riot - Guilty Pleasures
Indie release
80’s Hard Rock
11 songs (50'45)
Release year: 2001
Reviewed by Mike

From big stadium tours and big record deals to obscure club tours and an indie release… so the story goes for Quiet Riot. Forever remembered for their cover of Slade’s Cum on Feel the Noise, Quiet Riot have actually released a very solid album that will largely go unnoticed. After a few very mediocre releases during the 1990’s, this album is a return to the classic sound of Condition Critical and Mental Health. Guilty Pleasures certainly does not explore new territory, but it is the product of what the band does best- catchy testosterone charged hard rock. This certainly is not an earth shattering release. But with so many US 80’s hard rock bands reforming and releasing uninspired garbage albums just for a paycheck (anyone heard that disappointing Ratt album from a couple years ago?), I though it would be worthy to point out an exception.

After a few mediocre at best releases during the 1990’s, Guilty Pleasures is a return to Condition Critical or Mental Health era sounds. Actually, the musicianship is a bit better and the structure of the songs themselves is more complex and interesting. The guitar solos are particularly more impressive than in the past. The backing vocals are still as strong as before, making for very catchy and melodic chorus lines. Modern production makes for a much crisper sounded CD compared to the older albums. Had this album been released in the 1980’s in place of the very poppy QRIII album, I think the band’s popularity would not have faded nearly as fast as it did.

Similar to the bands earlier albums, Guilty Pleasures offers some groove driven rockers, some riff strong anthems, and two ballads for a total of eleven tracks. I could have done without one of the ballads, but that is a minor complaint. I Can’t Make You Love Me is a pretty good power ballad with a nice melody to it, but the acoustic Fly Too High is well, rather boring. At least it is the last track of the album so the listener can just quit listening at that point and not worry about looking for the remote to skip the track. Moving on… Like I said earlier, originality is not a word to describe this album as is quite evident with a couple tracks in particular. Rock the House is a straight up party rock song, and that opening drum line sounds *exactly* like Cum On Feel the Noise. Nonetheless, it is a fun song and catchy as hell. This would be a good one to open a live show with. When I saw the guys live last November, they played this tune in the middle of the set, and opened with Vicious Circle. Another highlight, but recognizable track is Blast From the Past, which is exactly that, a blast from the past. The opening riff reminds me a lot of the self titled Montrose album, or even the first two Riot albums, Rock City and Narita.

My favorite track on the disc is Shadow of Love, which in my mind may be the best Quiet Riot track ever. The face paced riff, very melodic chorus line, and a top notch guitar solo mesh together perfectly. Above all others, this track is the one that stuck with me the quickest. Surprisingly, Street Fighter is one of the heaviest, if not the heaviest tracks I’ve heard from the band. The song opens with a metal riff and doesn’t let up. Kevin Dubrow shows on this track that he still has the ability to give us a forceful belt on occasion.

While I have moved on to newer things (when’s that new Running Wild and new Blind Guardian out??), I still like to hear from an old school hard rock band I grew up with that it still putting out quality material unlike some of their counterparts. No “Latest and Greatest,” “Live and More,” cover album, or uninspired studio album. This is a very solid album that should receive more attention, but unfortunately will not. Bottom line: If you’re looking to move on and find something new and more original, pass on this album. However, if you liked Quiet Riot back in their heyday, and don’t mind a familiar trip down memory lane, grab this album. It is a very solid release to say the least, and surely compares to the band’s first two (and most successful) albums.

Killing Songs :
Shadow of Love, Rock the House, Blast from the Past, Street Fighter
Mike quoted 82 / 100
Other albums by Quiet Riot that we have reviewed:
Quiet Riot - Metal Health reviewed by Andy and quoted classic
Quiet Riot - Rehab reviewed by Mike and quoted 65 / 100
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