Review Summary: Cum on, feel the noize!
There are ten tracks on Quiet Riot’s third album, but to be level with you, I’d pay a few bucks just for the first two. These are the main drawcards: the opening title track, and the Slade cover, ‘Cum On Feel the Noize’, are such classics in their own right that it seems almost unfortunate that they are lumped into an average album.
Quiet Riot’s first release since the departure of Randy Rhodes, ‘Metal Health’ resides in the upper reaches of 80’s glam metal; six million album sales must reflect some quality, at least. There are other surprising accolades to support this; ‘Metal Health’ will always be the first heavy metal album to reach number 1 on the charts, and no critics can take that success away.
The most recognisable facet of the Quiet Riot sound is the hoarse set of vocals, performed by Kevin DuBrow. While not being melodious in any sense, DuBrow doesn’t really have to be, as his spirited shout proceeds to salvage this album from hair metal obscurity. His passion is contagious, and when he demands the listener to…
‘Bang your head, Metal Health will drive you mad’,
… it’s very difficult to suppress the heavy metal disciple within, and quite easy to succumb.
That is about the extent of praise I can heap on Quiet Riot; if DuBrow was to mysteriously disappear from the mix of ‘Metal Health’, what would be left?
Carlos Cavazo, (a current member of Ratt), covers the six-string duties for this record. Even the two classic tracks suffer from a severe absence of guitar-based creativity, and get by only as well crafted little rockers with an effective set of lyrics. The remainder of the songs are not so lucky, as the sheer tameness of the music rings clearly through the stereo. There is a minute and a half of B-grade 80’s guitar wankery on ‘Battle Axe’, and that is just about all she wrote, folks.
Thunderbird, a dedication to the late Randy Rhodes, is the fiercest contender for ‘third best song’. This is a problem, because Quiet Riot weren’t setting out to take the world by storm with ballads; the chap on the album cover in a straitjacket should be an apt reminder of that.
As much as these points I have just raised diminish the credibility of this album, I can understand why six million people haven’t given a *** about that. It is kind of like driving a bush-basher car around a dusty paddock at breakneck speed: the quality of all aspects of the experience is rubbish, but that doesn’t hide the smile on your face during the ride.
The best way to get your money’s worth from ‘Metal Health’ is to launch yourself down the highway with your windows down, and the speakers bulging with the strain of high volume.
… At least, that’s for the first two songs. After them, switch discs, and put on Motley Crue’s ‘Shout at the Devil’.