Riot – “Born In America” (1983)

Born In AmericaRiot bounced back from their lackluster Restless Breed album (1982) with a sharp effort called Born In America (Quality Records).  This was their second album with bad-ass Rhett Forrester fronting the band.  Wisely, Riot left the Bad Company bullshit at the door this time ’round and shat out a barbed-wire wrapped metal platter.  The first thing I notice about Born In America is the extremely raw and lively sound of the record, as if Riot are performing right in my living room.  The guitars have an extremely crunchy, plug-and-play sound.  I think you could fry an egg on Mark Reale’s sizzling amp.  With Forrester awesome pipes leading the way, Riot (as per usual) spun tales of outlaws, vigilantes, and gunslingers.  Riot always liked to explore society’s violent side.  Overall, Born In America is a strong album, though I confess that I use the skip button during the middle part of the sequence.  Nevertheless, quality cuts like You Burn In Me and Wings Of Fire rev up a cloud of black smoke (and they kind of foreshadow Reale’s next Riot incarnation with the Thundersteel album of 1988).  My favorite track however has to be the amazing Gunfighter.  This little gem sits deep on side two, and is one of Riot’s all time best songs.  I think of it as the logical successor to another of Riot’s greatest tunes, Outlaw from Fire Down Under (1981).  This song is cut from the same cloth as that classic chunk of American steel.  Though I mentioned using the skip button on some songs on Born In America, Gunfighter is one of those songs that compels me to engage the ol’ repeat button!  My score: B

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