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  • `Narita’ was probably the album that should have signaled to the metal community that New York’s Riot was the next best thing. The record showed the band at the peak of its powers as the support band that headliners would cringe to follow. Capitol Records thought so and had the band support Sammy Hagar and then royally screwed them when it came for a follow-up to `Narita’. The title track was an homage to Japan, named after their controversially placed airport, and was a blistering instrumental which showed the potential of whatever band Mark Reale and Guy Speranza put together. Best songs on this most unsung of LPs included “Road Racin’” (an absolute barnstormer!), “Waiting for the Taking”, “Kick Down the Wall”, “Hot for Love” (with its porno-sounds sped up coda!), “Do It Up”, “Here We Come Again” and “White Rock” could definitely peel paint and could also do battle with many of their more successful contemporaries. Legend has it that the band had some subpar live performances in the UK (home of their label) due to infighting with management that may have sunk their chances at the big time. Regardless `Narita’ and its successor demand your attention if you love classic hard rock. Van Halen may have been shakin in their high heeled shoes if Riot ever reached their true potential!

    Posted on February 7, 2010