Rock ‘n’ roll needs lovers to endure. Fans are great and they keep folding money in one’s wallet and gas in the tour van, but rock in the archetypal, not-fade-away sense needs ardent acolytes who adore it so much it makes them ache and dream and feel alive like almost nothing else. A certain irrational gusto is required of such passionate folks, and Southern California-based Gods Of Cock Rock are undisguised in their all-in, whole hearted love, particularly on their third release, Dead Rock Stars (download here).
The 6-track EP is an open letter to rock’s past, present and future, taking to task the wasters who squander their fame, opportunities and talents with early, needless deaths while elsewhere giddily conjecturing about all the seminal moments in rock’s history they could visit with a time machine. For this warmly winning duo – whose name suggests metal splatter but whose sound is closer to Tom Petty – the genre retains its mysteries and magic even in the face of beloved venues becoming Jiffy Lubes and parking lots.
The living room jam roots of GOCR are still evident on Dead Rock Stars but their confidence and reach is palpably growing, the road beckoning on sweet closer “The Way Home” and the challenges of impinging adulthood addressed on “Hell Or The Altar.” The Gods have a knack for being funny but that’s leavened with some satisfyingly righteous anger here. In this way, they are growing up and their music reflects the longer view that only time brings. That it also sways in a really nice way gives one hope they’re on the way to something that will do their heroes proud.