Rocquette, 13, Self-released
Too often music fans allow “the buzz” to fashion their preconceived notions about what is heady or cool enough to enjoy without risking looking uncool or unhip. So we end up convincing ourselves to agonize over dissecting and digesting the James Blakes and Best Coasts when we’d really rather be thrusting a set of goat horns in the air and diving into our air guitars. Why are we so quick to ignore the fact that our love of music was cultivated by Hit Parader magazine and 80s MTV? Then a band like Austria’s Rocquette come along and remind you how heroic (and fun) a pomp and cocksure, tried-and-true rock band can be. 13 is an arena-ready, 80s rock conjuring ball buster that owes equal depts to Poison, The Go Gos, Joan Jett and AC/DC. Vocalist Barbie Hardrock delivers unbridled vocals, while the band traverses decades worth of high-octane rock. Nowhere is this more evident than on fist pumper “nothing But Rock’n’Roll.” Likewise, “Take a Walk Outside Your Mind” is a Motley Crue style ballad that harkens to “Home Sweet Home” and raised cigarette lighters. Is it a little cliché or schticky? Perhaps, but it is also a heck of a lot of fun. Afterall, some of the most celebrated rock bands of all time were a littly goofy and a lot over the top. Queen? Def Leppard? I think the lessons here is not to sacrifice swagger for cynicism. Rocquette is the kind of band to put the fire back in your heart and loins, or in the very least make you wish you had a leopard or a form fitting pair of leather pants.
Recommeended For Fans Of: Joan Jett, The Darkness, Avril Lavigne