Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Down to the Bone
Genres: Pop, Rock, Classic Rock, Metal
A statement of purpose for Quiet Riot
William Matson | Maine | 10/19/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Quiet Riot released 'Down to the Bone' in 1995 during the middle of the alternative rock movement. At this point in time, the band was seen as behind the times, musically, and they decided to change direction. With that said, there have been reviewers who classified (incorrectly) 'Down to the Bone' as an attempt to adopt a grungier sound. Don't worry, as those assertations are off-base. What you'll find here is an album that sounds like nothing else in the Quiet Riot catalog, but it sure isn't an alternative sell-out, either.
The styles of music vary across the board. The two opening cuts, "Dig" and "Pretty pack of lies", sound more contemporary than the rest of the material here. "Dig" is a darker song that is out of character for Quiet Riot, but still is extremely well done. The chorus is a good one. "Pretty pack of lies" was the first single. This song does have an alternative feel and sounds like a totally different band. Play it for someone, without letting on who it is, and you'll be hard pressed to find anyone who can give you the correct answer as to who the band is.
"All Day and All of the Night" is a smoking Kinks cover that sounds eerily like a Van Halen demo/b-side, albeit with much rougher vocals. Such a comparison is fitting since Van Halen covered The Kinks, too. "Whatever it takes" is a 70's influenced rocker that Quiet Riot played live on the tour for this album. The groove far outshines the forgettable chorus, but this is a good cut to chew on.
Jimi Hendrix is channeled on the high energy tune, "Wings of a Cloud." Kevin DuBrow shows off a vocal range that you rarely get to hear. Most Quiet Riot fans never heard woefully underrated guitarist Carlos Cavazo play this style. "Trouble Again" is another 70's classic rock style tune. The chorus is better than "Whatever it takes" (earlier on the album), but the groove isn't quite as earth shattering. "Trouble Again" is hard rock 101.
One favorite on the album is the spaghetti-western flavored title track, which sounds like something you would hear at the county fair or on the soundtrack of the film 'Deliverance.' It is hard to tell if Quiet Riot is being serious, but the song comes across as very tongue-in-cheek and plenty of listeners will be left laughing until their sides hurt. It's a safe bet that Frankie Banali had a lot of fun on the drumming showcase, "Voodoo Brew." This is a very unconventional song that is way out in left field for Quiet Riot. "Monday Morning Breakdown" is a darker song, a very moody rocker which brings together tricks from the 80's and 90's. The next three songs all sound the closest to the Quiet Riot that their fans will know and love. "Live til it hurts" features verses that are better than the chorus and the best guitar solo on the album. It may very well be the best guitar solo Carlos Cavazo ever had in Quiet Riot, a real treat.
"Twisted" sounds like what you'd expect from Quiet Riot, circa 1995. Those fans who cling to their memories of the 'Metal Health' album will be sufficiently satisfied. It reminds this reviewer a little bit of the music from the previous Quiet Riot effort, 'Terrified', from 1993. "All wound up" sounds (and feels) like a left-over from the sessions for 1984's 'Condition Critical.' The only difference is that the production is stripped back significantly from the 1980's heyday, which is a theme for the 'Down to the Bone' album. Nonetheless, "All wound up" is a fast-paced, straight-ahead rock tune in which the real Kevin DuBrow (the loudmouth) comes out to play.
"Hell or High Water" mimics AC/DC, who may have had a song with the same title, though not the same version as Quiet Riot since they wrote this one. Not a bad tune at all, really, but "Hell or High Water" won't go down in history as a QR (short for Quiet Riot) classic. The brief "Wings of a Cloud Revisited" closes this album by rehashing the closing moments of "Wings of a Cloud" from earlier on. While it is not listed here, the import version of 'Down to the Bone' features the bonus track/song "Slam Dunk" (originally written by Kevin DuBrow for the group Pretty Boy Floyd), which ended up on 1999's 'Alive and Well.'
'Down to the Bone' is an unconventional, and unexpected, release for Quiet Riot. This release features three of the four members from the 'Metal Health' era, minus Rudy Sarzo. Chuck Wright (who played some tracks on 'Metal Health' anyway) handles the bass duties here, and is arguably a better player than Sarzo. The sound you'll hear is one that Quiet Riot never attempted before and hasn't tried since. Overall, 'Down to the Bone' is as good as anything else in the Quiet Riot catalog, except 'Metal Health', 'Terrified' and perhaps, 'Condition Critical.' This album blows away 'QRIII', 'Guilty Pleasures' and the album that Quiet Riot cut with Paul Shortino. Quiet Riot has help from outside songwriters with a few tracks, which is nothing new for them. This is a trend on a lot of their albums.
The opinion of this reviewer is that the majority of Quiet Riot's fans will enjoy this album, overall. 'Down to the Bone' sounds very different than the 'Metal Health' style and that is a good and bad thing. The bad being that Quiet Riot's detractors will never give anything on here its due, because they have already made up their mind about the band. The good thing is the band gets the opportunity to show their range as musicians. From a performance standpoint, musically, this is the most impressive outing by Quiet Riot. Rather than producing the standard hard rock stylings, Quiet Riot practices 70's/classic rock, with groove oriented riffs that showcase substance over style. Carlos Cavazo paints a picture with the guitar, instead of simply trying to play as fast or as loud as he can.
There is little to complain about. Kevin DuBrow is the producer on 'Down to the Bone', no surprise considering his animosity towards long-time Quiet Riot producer, Spencer Proffer (on Pasha Records). The production is very earthy and stripped back, which enhances the songs here. This doesn't sound like the big budget releases Quiet Riot has enjoyed over their career. A word of warning is that this album doesn't rock hard, like the 'Metal Health' material. However, 'Down to the Bone' has more soul, feeling and groove than anything else they've ever done. This is still rock and roll, hardly lightweight, but nothing to hit you like a ton of bricks. What this means is that you won't find anything to "bang your head" to. There is no heavy metal to be found on here.
As you may notice if you are looking this one up, 'Down to the Bone' is out-of-print and getting a copy can prove to be an expensive venture. It was released on cd and cassette in 1995 through a small Canadian label, Kamikaze Records, but quickly disappeared. If you have the opportunity to obtain this album at a decent price, don't hesitate to pick it up if you enjoy Quiet Riot."
Blake Hart | Jax Florida USA | 08/03/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In the line of Quiet Riot history I can say this CD is good but not great.
If you have heard Cum On Feel The Noise and Metal Health then listen to this CD you'll find that 5. Wings of a Cloud, 10. Live Till It Hurts, 11. Twisted, 13. Hell or High Water, 3. All Day and All of the Night, and 12. All Wound Up are to their ususal metal standards.
However 1. Dig, 2. Pretty Pack of Lies, 4. Whatever it Takes, 6.Trouble Again, 7. Down to the Bone, 9. Monday Morning Breakdown. QR's sad attempt at Power Ballads in my opinion or they tried to get caught up in the "Alternative Wave" that was short lived in the 1990s.
Voodoo Brew is just a bad mix of steel drums and heavy metal.
If anything I'd give the whole CD a listen then just program your CD player around the ones you don't like. When Quiet Riot sticks to its roots they're awesome when they try to do different like the ones I listed out I'd have to leave that to the opinion of the listener.
When they did Alive and Well they obviously listened to their fans.
Something they should have kept going for...
Bryan S. Sampsel | Colorado Springs, CO United States | 06/23/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I liked "Terrified," because it was dark and hard.
"Down to the Bone" is its logical sequel. QR began to finally branch out and evolve their existing sound into something more mature and full bodied (like a good stout instead of standard see-through Coors).
I cut my teeth on "Condition Critical" and "Metal Health" and quite honestly, I *hated* grunge. This was the perfect counterpoint to all that nonsense out of Seattle.
Forget the one-star guy, this album rocks. Unfortunately, it's out of print as of the time of this review.
I wish QR had kept this style and developed it, instead of falling into formulae, like in their final album: Rehab.
RIP Kevin DuBrow, "Down to the Bone" rocked!"