By Rusty Coffinnails

RIOTGOD out of Red Bank NJ. is a hard rock band with some veteran members who are no strangers to the stage or the rock scene.Riotgod took me back to mid 90s and kinda remind me of Monster Magnet... as they should, for the fact both bands share members. Bob Pantella on drums and  Garret Sweeny on guitar.At this point ,I have to confess that I am not much of a fan of M.M.But I'll give these guys a fair shake and be as honest as I can.

This album is titled "Driven Rise" and the first track is is the same It starts off with promise kinda like rolling along a long stretch of highway without a care in the world.  The sound is clean and the vocals are clear yet something is not right. It is all too familiar. (Think Monster Magnet)

Like the difference between GMC and Chevy...there's a different name and even a different paint job but for the most part the same truck. I don't know if they are trying to "sound like" or not but I feel that I have heard this before about 20 years ago.
Now we will skip to track 3 called "Grenade and Pin", The name sounded cool so why not. It is a kinda fun little funky thing that has a bit of the hair band feel to it, but it is nothing "new" ,just the old comfort food music that most rock radio stations would play about 50 times a day and hammer  into your skull.

I get the feeling these guys are "playing it safe" they seem to stay with old ways and do not step outside of the box much. Well, let's dig in to some more tracks.
The 4th track called "Sidewinder" is so far out and odd in the beginning that I did not know what to think. It has a distant distorted voice doing spoken word type thing then the music kicks in still pulling heavily on the 90s and just did not do much for me.

Now we will jump to track 6 that incidentally is my top pick, titled "Positronic". It is quite catchy and reminds me of old Queen. Needless to say ,this is nothing new or cutting edge but still a fun high energy song.

Now then, if you are a fan of Monster Magnet or just like the 90s hard radio rock this is a good album,it is by no means bad but it is quite vanilla and safe.Personally I like bands that kinda push the envelope so to speak, the ones that are not and will not ever be played on the radio.