Riot was a band very much before their time and they would have fit in very well if they hadn’t hit their peak about 3 to 5 years too early in the American metal scene. They actually had a very commercial sound but very rarely had the benefit of a big record company push. Japan seemed to bite early which seemed to help them gain a larger following but it is still strange that a band from New York with an arena rock sound didn’t become huge in the late `70’s early 80’s. `Rock City’ was released in the summer of 1977 on a small label is a very good late 70’s hard rock record. They would improve but you could see the potential in the songs and the performances. Mark Reale as lead guitarist showed a prowess in his chosen field of blistering hard rock and he had the perfect foil in the late Guy Speranza, as talented a vocalist as one could find. The title track featured a killer riff and top notch efforts from Reale, Speranza and their cronies who would not make it past album number two (inconsistent lineups may have been their biggest problem besides indifferent record labels. “Gypsy Queen”, “This Is What I Get” and “Rock City” were insanely catchy while “Warrior” and “Overdrive” proved to be the metal monsters on the de but. Riot would continue to rise in quality with the next two lps but then one more major lineup change too many forever stalled the momentum of this woulda , shoulda contenda.