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The Rods - Rock Hard

The Rods
Rock Hard
by Kevin Lewis at 08 November 2021, 5:11 PM

THE RODS are a New York, United States based hard rock/heavy metal band formed in 1980. Their debut release from 1981, Rock Hard, was re-release with some pretty cool vinyl pressings, limited to 750 copies. The new vinyl release was on August 20, 2021, via High Roller Records. For those who remember the band, who likely still listen, this is a treat. For those who have never heard the band, they are in for a treat.

The record opens with a cover of “Sit Down Honey,” a cover of the ELF song. Reading their bio lets you know David “Rock” Feinstein played in ELF with his cousin, the one-and-only RONNIE JAMES DIO. That connection alone makes this song special. The track is a bit groovy, a bit funky, and all classic rock. Some of the vocal harmonies are very reminiscent of BOSTON, immediately catching the ear and likely bringing a smile to the listeners face.

This record is a really good example of the songs of the era. Lots of tunes about rocking, rolling, loving and rocking out a little more. “Music Man” and “Get Ready for Some Rock & Roll,” along with “Crank It Up” are those typical 80s rock anthems. “Power Lover” and “Rock Hard” are the party anthems. All have a very SCORPIONS/KISS feel to the lyrics. The music is totally different than either of those bands. This is not a copycat band.

Another cover tune on this record is “You Better Run” by THE YOUNG RASCALS. You may not know that one, but you probably heard the PAT BENATAR version released in 1980. THE RODS version sounds similar to the BENATAR version only in the tempo and tuning. The vocals are, of course, very different since this has a male singing. The song is instantly recognizable, which is the mark of a good cover.

THE RODS sound like a lot of bands from that era. You can hear the influence of the times throughout most of their songs. That influence does not translate to sounding like other bands, just fitting very well into the genre. They added some really good music to that entire body of work. This is a solid band with a lot of sound for being a three-piece outfit on this record. They had a sound equally as good as any of the other power trios of the era such as RUSH, TRIUMPH or ZZ TOP.

This is a nostalgic record. The sound is from a bygone era that needs to be remembered. Fans of the early 80s will fondly remember this style of music. Many of us revisit that era often and bring back memories of our youth, reliving the glory that was some of the best music ever produced. So, kick back and enjoy a bit of history.

Songwriting:  8
Musicianship:  8
Memorability:  9
Production:  8

4 Star Rating

1. Sit Down Honey (Elf cover)
2. Music Man
3. In Your Panties
4. Power Lover
5. Roll with The Night
6. Hungry for Some Love
7. Get Ready to Rock & Roll
8. Crank It Up
9. Rock Hard
10. Gettin' Higher
11. You Better Run (The Young Rascals cover)
12. Woman
Stephen Starmer – Bass/Vocals
Carl Canedy – Drums/Vocals
David “Rock” Feinstein – Guitar/Vocals
Record Label: High Roller Records


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