Brooklyn’s Riot released in 1981 what many consider(myself included) a bonafide all time great piece of executed Hard Rock! Why this album did not catapult these guys to Fame at the time is beyond me. At the time Riot(1981) was opening for Rush on there Moving Pictures Tour so Riot were getting the tours as well in England they were going over a storm opening for Sammy Hagar so who knows what the problem was perhaps the Record Company politics did them in as well as management or perhaps Fire Down Under was ahead of its time.
I tend to think it was all three …. management,record company and an album ahead of its time…
The Riot dudes that created this Epic Piece Of Rock are…
Guy Speranza – vocals
Mark Reale – guitar
Rick Ventura – guitar
Kip Leming – bass
Sandy Slavin – drums
This album has all the trimmings of a Super Duper Classic around Stick It In Your Ear HQ’s! The lead singing is superb,the music muscle shown by the Fella’s is superb as well! This album can do no wrong….Case in point just the song titles along Kick Ass!
“Swords and Tequila” (Guy Speranza, Mark Reale) – 3:15
“Fire Down Under” (Speranza, Kip Leming) – 2:34
“Feel the Same” (Rick Ventura) – 4:30
“Outlaw” (Speranza, Reale) – 4:50
“Don’t Bring Me Down” (Speranza, Reale, Leming, Ventura, Sandy Slavin) – 2:57
“Don’t Hold Back” (Speranza, Reale) – 3:15
“Altar of the King” (Speranza, Reale) – 4:46
“No Lies” (Ventura) – 4:10
“Run for Your Life” (Speranza, Reale) – 3:16
“Flashbacks” (Speranza, Reale, Leming, Ventura, Slavin) – 4:02
Swords and Tequila is a bonafide superstar opener. Swords sets the pace and features the guitar wizardy of Reale and Ventura while Speranza kicks in the doors of your local Mexican Watering Hole and lays down the law vocally and tells us how to get through the night! Big Time Muscle is this tune! Crank the video posted!
After Guy and crew demolish the Mexican Tavern they take things even further and faster and unleash Fire Down Under that keeps the song racing and you would think the Riot train was going to come off the rails it doesn’t though as the boy’s keep it all together. Riot ramp things up to 100 mph and guess what folks? It all makes sense!
Feel The Same just chills the vibe right out as the verses are relaxed but the chorus takes it a notch and no it’s not a power ballad but a power track that will hoof you square in your man junk regions! Slavin drums an awesome vibe here….
Ok Track four being Outlaw is soon friggin good! Guitars lead off the charge and the boys toss down another tune about another round trip to the Mexican town with more tequila being spilled and searching for missing Gold! Check out the clip of Outlaw posted!
Don’t Bring Me Down is Riot Boogie Rock that shifts gears at a quick pace. This song is classic rock with a Metal Twist. I’m breaking protocol here and dropping down a third video and for Aaron at the KMA site I posted the lyrics to the second verse where Guy chirps the word Chump!….. watch the vid and follow the words below….
You took my car, for just one night,
Out to cruise the scene, that’s what you told me.
Now the engine’s gone, the tailpipe’s bent,
My 8-Track’s playin’, Spring-st-st-steen.
You call me a wimp, you say I’m a chump,
Well your face is bent,
And you smell like gorilla dump.
Ooooh, don’t bring me down.
Ooooh, don’t bring me down.
No, no, no.
Slavin and Kip drive this tune while the guitar bite of Reale and Ventura is so bang on its sick! It’s tunes like this that make me miss 1981! Ha! Well kinda…don’t miss my Math Mark from that year!
Side 2 opens with Don’t Hold Back and Alter OF The King which are kinda like reader HMO’S homeboys Saxon. Its two tracks of straight ahead Power Rock with a twist in the Blender of Saxon and Riot mashed up!
No Lies is another awesome track that has Drum Boy Slavin leading the charge while Guy delivers it all vocally and this tune like I have said many a time on previous reviews of albums its one of those end of album GEMS!
Run For Your Life rocks out as well and keeps the Riot Xpress going (HMO I hear old school Saxon here!)while end of the album Flashbacks is basically Riot sampling a bunch of shows with a guitar threading across the track while you hear some announcer welcoming Riot to the Hammersmith Odeon and chants from the crowd hollering Riot….Riot….Riot.. Kind of a weird end of the album Hodge Podge of sounds but whatever and give these dudes credit as they sampled there Shit back in 81! See I told you a band ahead of its time!
The first 5 songs on this album(Side 1) are pure genius and it’s just one Swift Sonic Kick to the Chin as these guys dug deep and just keep swinging with so much Piss N Vinegar that it’s a shame that this album never went mega….
Side 2 is no slouch in the material but man you cannot beat the fury of the first 5 tracks in regards to Bad Boy Boogie Power Rock…
What also must be mentioned is that Guy Speranza and Mark Reale are no longer here so R.I.P Fella’s …..
Coming up I will be reviewing Martin Popoff’s excellent book on Riot tilted Swords And Tequlia (Riots Classic First Decade)
Watch For it….