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RECORD RACK

Riot Going On

July 20, 1986|DUNCAN STRAUSS

"QR III." Quiet Riot. Pasha. L.A.'s Quiet Riot has returned to the metal wars armed with a new bass player (Chuck Wright), a slightly new sound, and a new, broader writing approach that yields mixed results. The band introduces all three developments on the first cut, "Main Attraction," a lunkheaded but lush anthem that opens with a repeating synthesizer figure--and was composed by six writers, including producer Spencer Proffer.

Proffer had a hand in writing five songs, and those are pretty easy to distinguish from the others: They're the Scorpions-style ballads or the highly burnished, keyboard-drenched rockers. Meanwhile, back at the raunch, there's still a handful of more characteristic pounders, topped by guitarist Carlos Cavazo's fleet-fingered solos and the raw bark of Kevin DuBrow.

Apart from a few rock 'n' roll-and-sex screamers, most of the songs don't seem to be about anything. Just as well, after hearing the group tackle socio-political commentary on "Rise or Fall," an incredibly vague call for action in which the band demonstrates the depth of its concern by mispronouncing apartheid. Not for nothing is Quiet Riot's motto "Bang Thy Head."

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