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John Diva & The Rockets of Love Award winner

John Diva & The Rockets of Love
Mama Said Rock Is Dead
by Dave Nowels at 27 February 2019, 3:37 PM

This is quite an interesting release. JOHN DIVA & THE ROCKETS OF LOVE are a quintessential Hair Metal band and “Mama Said Rock is Dead” is their attempt to honor the hairspray gods. I’d have to say they’ve succeeded. Vocalist John Diva is the frontman extraordinaire. Take a little Brett Michaels, a tad of Vince Neil, and a bit of David Lee Roth,  mix it up and give a shake (not stirred) and you’ve got John Diva. Vocally he’s solid too, with a midrange approach and a tad of vibrato for the choruses. The songs are sung in English, with a little bit of a German accent. The band is sensational. J.J. Love and Snake Rocket rail out those 80’s riffs and authentically wail on the solos. Remmie Martin is handling the bass while Lee Stingray occupies the kit. You can almost visualize Martin licking his bass ala Rudy Sarzo while Stingray twirls his sticks in the background.


The album opens with a recorded crack of a whip and then erupts with “Whiplash” set to a blazing musical pace. The song covers a bunch of area and there’s barely a sliver of time to catch your breath as it does. With the following “Lolita” and “Rock ‘N’ Roll Heaven”, it becomes apparent that Diva and band have done their homework. The songs are catchy as all get out. Crazy good hooks, addictive choruses and raging guitars. Some of the lyrics of “Blinded”, caught me funny, but they’ve just managed to heroically capture the last cliché of the genre. “Dance Dirty” is just simply a barn burner. Incredible guitar structure and the solo is straight laser beams to your ears. Its probably my favorite track out of many memorable songs. The band even manages to bottle the magic of the power ballad with the tender “Just A Night Way” before a return to swagger and bravado. “Fire Eyes” and “Get It On” propel us forward while simultaneously keeping us in a 1980’s Metal mindset.

That doesn’t change. Live, the band often covers their favorite songs from the era. Here, throughout the album you’ll hear the band’s influences represented in these songs. A bit of VAN HALEN here, some POISON there, some BLACK ‘n’ BLUE, and DEF LEPPARD, and even a hint of DIO. But even though they wear these influences on their sleeve, DIVA & THE ROCKETS OF LOVE maintain originality. It’s a fine balance at times, but they blend these influences just enough to make it feel new. “Toxic” is a perfect example with its darker lyrical and musical feel that sets the stage for the album’s rocker of a finale, “Rockets Of Love”. JOHN DIVA & THE ROCKECTS OF LOVE have distinctly proven that Hair Metal isn’t dead. In fact, they make it feel like it never went away. This one surprised me quite a bit. “Mama Said Rock Is Dead” is a really fun endeavor and I highly recommend checking it out.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Whiplash
2. Lolita
3. Rock ‘N’ Roll Heaven
4. Wild Life
5. Blinded
6. Dance Dirty
7. Just A Night Away
8. Fire Eyes
9. Get It On
10. Long Legs
11. Toxic
12. Rockets Of Love
Lineup:
John Diva – Vocals
J.J. Love – Guitars
Snake Rocket – Guitars
Remmie Martin – Bass
Lee Stingray - Drums
Record Label: Steamhammer/SPV
     


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