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Rocquette – 13 CD review by Rhonda Readence

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Read what Rhonda Readence ( thinks about “13”

Austrian rock band Rocquette is a powerhouse of loud guitar and melodic rhythms that are pure rock ‘n’ roll. Barbie Hardrock on vocals is accompanied by Thomas Perry on lead guitar, Hurricane Harry on rhythm guitar, and various artists on bass and drums. With an 80’s rock feel and a dash of rockabilly and blues, Rocquette creates a unique and refreshing sound that is made even more so by Barbie Hardrock’s wonderfully energetic vocal delivery.

13 begins with a montage of sirens that open the track “One And Only Drive (That’s Your Life).” With nothing to stop this band from opening up full throttle, they do exactly that with melodic guitar work and a rhythm that begs to be danced to. “Mexico Song” carries a bit of humor in the well-written lyrics as Barbie sings “Why do they play that crap on the radio / And just ignore the songs I wrote?” Considering the state of commercial radio, this is a valid lyric, but rather than sounding peevish and irritable, Barbie sings the song with a playful lilt in her voice that makes her gripe sound like an inside joke between her and the listener.

Rocquette is clearly a band that knows their rock, proven by “Our Fists Against The Dirty Biz,” which carries attitude, screaming guitars and a foot-tapping beat that will lodge into the heart and mind, but they also do a bit of rockabilly. “Mhmmmargarita” is a delight, with fantastic vocals and the swinging essence of the perfect rockabilly tune. The horns are the perfect touch and this high energy track shows that this band likes to have fun. In keeping with the theme of 13, “Nothing But Rock ‘n’ Roll” is precisely what the title suggests. Rocquette does a fantastic job with the interchanging rhythms of this piece and the guitar work is fantastic. Slowing the pace down slightly, “Take A Walk Outside Your Mind” shows the more artistic and mellow side of this band and this is a flawless and brilliant piece. The lyrics are strong, thoughtful and exceptionally well-written and delivered gracefully. Lighters will flicker in the crowd and people will be swaying side to side as Rocquette performs this one.

“Motherrocker” eases back into their comfort zone, but this tune has a playful rhythm that will endear listeners and make it yet another fan favorite. “Live To Ride” has an 80’s vibe that will delight rockers of all ages. With its dramatic ending, this would be the quintessential show closer before the encore. While listening to 13, one can’t help but want to see this band play live, which is unusual. Listeners rarely get a good feel for what a band would sound like live based on a studio recording, but with Rocquette, their vibe is so full of energy that this could conceivably be a live album.

“Just Needs A Start” kicks off with some blazing guitar work that brings to mind Social Distortion. The rhythm is laid back and rife with contagious guitar licks. This track leads nicely into “Rockabadooba” and Barbie lets loose a little with some great vocals. As with nearly every song on this track, this one is full of pure energy. The album begins to wind down with “Tornado” which needs little comment, as it is what we’ve come to know and love from Rocquette. “Keep On Rocking” has a bit of funk to it and a classy rhythm that works well with the sultry vocals. 13 closes with “Voodoo Rock” and Rocquette leaves us on creative note and an almost bluesy rhythm that will linger long after the song ends. This band has attitude, they like to have fun, and most of all, they enjoy making music and they do it exceedingly well.

Review by Rhonda Readence
Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)