I’m not fluent in cock rock. I don’t listen to it, and I have no interest in it whatsoever, so I’m completely outside of its target demographic. Bands like Hinder and Velvet Revolver do nothing for me. That said, it’s hard for me to determine where the boundaries are. I’m not talking about where the cock ends and the balls begin – what I mean is that I have no idea when something stops being hard rock and starts being cock rock. That was the first problem I had when I was thinking of how to describe Justice, the new Rev Theory record. We’re off to a great start here.
Rev Theory is a five piece hard rock band that started as a spark in North Andover, MA, and turned into a flaming borderline cock rock band in New York City. Now, I realize that I’m not being totally fair to these guys, but they never had a chance with me. In all honesty, their brand of rock ‘n roll is extremely radio-friendly and should appeal to a wide variety of people. This completely falls in line with my belief that 75% of the general public’s taste in music sucks, and this is why Buckcherry sells albums. That said, this review for our humble little webzine isn’t going to hurt them any, and I’m going to have fun with it. I might as well. I had to listen to Justice five or six times before I wrote this.
With all of the mud that I’m slinging around, I need to mention that the lead guitars are pretty good. It pains me to admit that there are quite a few tasty licks interspersed among the generic “I’m a bad-ass” and “tell me that I suck” girlfriend ballads that comprise Justice, but they were only capable of piquing my interest for a few seconds each. The exception to this is the acoustic song “Hollow Man”, which features a beautiful motif made with what I suspect is hybrid picking. The lead guitarist is certainly no slouch, but unfortunately he chose to use Rikki Lixx as a stage name (it’s either that or his parents were sadists). Seriously. I can’t make this shit up. The rest of the album is made up of the predictably safe power chords you would expect from a mainstream hard rock band.
The vocals do nothing for me when they are attempting to be hard and edgy, but when the singer actually sings, he’s surprisingly not bad. The lyrics are nothing to write home about, but they’re not all bad. I can get into some of the themes, such as the title track, but overall, Rev Theory has little to offer someone like me. One sappy, self-pitying song annoyed me much more than the rest, exponentially so with every listen – “The Fire”. The entire song is pretty much made up of “Tell me that I’m X”, where X equals some horrible character trait describing the lead singer, “but don’t tell me that it’s over”. I’m imagining it must either be directed at a female who burned him (with good reason, I’m sure) or a muscle car he rode until the wheels fell off. It can really go either way.
I can see a few different groups in Rev Theory’s target audience. Taylor Swift fans and bar-room cougars will eat this up, thinking that being a fan somehow gives them a playful shadiness they otherwise don’t possess. Also, if you like dog shit, colonoscopies, and Nickelback, then Justice is for you, as this band is slightly better. If you like metal, I’m surprised you even made it this far.
01. Dead In A Grave
04. The Fire
05. Loaded Gun
06. Guilty By Design
07. Enemy Within
08. Wicked Wonderland
09. Say Goodbye
10. Never Again
11. Hollow Man