I'm generally excited when Jizzy Pearl fronts any band. He's one of my favorite singers out there from the classic metal era; a distinct sounding guy who has proven to be a chameleon while maintaining a sound there is no mistaking. Jizzy joining Quiet Riot was a welcome thought to me, personally. While I've never been a huge Quiet Riot fan, I've always found Kevin Dubrow and Frankie Banali to be good at what they do. When Dubrow died, they went through a few singers looking for the right fit before Pearl took the job most recently. To be honest, it's surprising (at least to me) that they decided to record so quickly after Pearl joined the band. The resulting work is 10, the new album of sorts from the current lineup of Quiet Riot.
There's good news and there's bad news here. While the production is not especially great throughout (more on that later), the six new songs that feature Pearl, Banali, guitarist Alex Grossi and bassist Chuck Wright are pretty solid, straight forward rockers that should fit nicely against the hits that fill their live shows. Songs like "Dogbone Alley" have a lot of sleazy LA Strip swagger to them, with Pearl simply barking out orders throughout the singout of the song. The riff on this song is especially strong and memorable from Grossi as well. Songs like "Bang For Your Buck" pretty much force your head to start banging, or at least a foot to start tapping thanks to a very cool rhythmic backbeat provided by Banali and trailed nicely by Wright on bass. This is classic 80s sounding metal, and it's pretty good to say the least.
In some ways though, Quiet Riot 2014 would have been better served to leave this as an EP. While the production on the first six songs is passable, it's a bit thin in places and could have really benefitted from a much fuller mix than they captured here. That doesn't compare to the last four songs, which are said to have been live recordings from vocalist Kevin Dubrow's last tour before passing away. If you follow Banali and/or Quiet Riot online, then you know it's Banali's mission to keep the legacy of his deceased friend alive. While the last four live tracks on this release do showcase the fact that Dubrow was in top form when he passed away, the production is abysmal on these. These sound like bad bootlegs recorded by someone in the crowd. Seriously, not very good quality wise at all. The song selection doesn't make a lot of sense either. I guess you could argue against going with the hits, but only "Put Up or Shut Up" is a song that a casual fan of the band MIGHT know. "Free" and "South of Heaven" are culled from the band's largely missed afterthought album REHAB (talk about poor naming given that Dubrow would die shortly after it's release of a drug overdose roughly a year later). Dubrow seems to have some problems hitting the high notes on "Free" at the end, which makes it difficult to understand why that song was chosen. Really, the same can be said by the squeaky performance on "Rock N' Roll Medley" as well. Again though, it's not so much the songs chosen as the production. it's just a tough listen. It's just loud, noisy, thin on bass and kind of boxy in the drum sound.
PITRIFF RATING - 58/100 - I don't hate it. In fact, I like the new studio tracks. The production drags this whole thing down though, very much so on the last four songs that really suffer greatly when compared to what professional sounding live recordings generally do (including tracks that the band themselves have had out over the previous years). If nothing else, it's good to hear Jizzy Pearl has a new recording vehicle.