Thursday 6 January 2022

The Mother Rockers - Kobra (2022)

Country: Canada
Style: Glam Rock
Rating: 6/10
Release Date: 5 Jan 2022
Sites: Facebook | YouTube

With a cover like that, it's completely obvious from moment one that the Mother Rockers want to channel the glam rock of the eighties, even though they're from Quebec rather than Hollywood's Sunset Strip. The immediate question I had was whether they're a pure joke band or whether the music they play can stand up on its own. Looking at song titles, not to forget the T Rex cover star, I had to wonder. Maybe songs like Hot Mom and Late Nite Struggle might be on one side of the line but She's Got a Dick and Too Hot to Fuck are on the other. There was only one way to find out and I thought opener I Can't Wait sounded decent, so I persevered.

And this isn't bad at all. Yes, it's just as obviously eighties glam rock as you imagine it is, but it had little interest in just pitching clichéd joke songs. At least, I felt that way without trying to focus on the lyrics to songs like Rivers of Slobber. The beats are decent, the musicians are capable and the hooks are as good as they need to be. No, there isn't anything remotely original here and I'm still half convinced that this album is just a pitch to land a support slot on a Steel Panther tour. I'd love to know if the musicians in the Mother Rockers have day jobs in regular bands, ones where they're not listed as Billie Ballz, Bobby Coxx or Max Shaft.

Frankly, the more the Mother Rockers rock it up, the better they sound. Lady Mary-Ann kicks with style, the guitars of, good grief, Max Shaft and Johnny Bucket, generating neat buzzsaw riffs and decent solos too. Rivers of Slobber and Runnin' Away aren't bad songs at all. I managed to avoid a definition of what Y.M.B.B. stands for but the song of that title is decent too. The first time that I couldn't avoid the stupidity of it all was She's Got a Dick eight songs in, which delivers its title like it's a refrain in a movie trailer.

Quite how much a band means this style is always a difficult question to answer. There's no reason why a band can't play eighties hair metal unironically, however hard that's becoming (ha!) to do. I liked bands like Mötley Crüe, Ratt and Kix early on, however ridiculous they looked in outrageous stage attire. I also liked where a lot of later bands overzealously caught up in the buzz went when grunge took the scene down. So ditch the make-up and stupid costumes and just play your rock 'n' roll like you mean it. Maybe it'll have rougher edges that way and you'll get more bikers than hot chicks baring their boobs in the audience, but it'll sound good.

This is nowhere near as good as the early days of glam metal, though I did appreciate how dirty a lot of the riffs managed to get. It's also nowhere near as interesting as those later bands turning the genre into something new, but it's decent stuff, at least until we get to the inevitable ballad, Since You're Gone, which is just tiresome. It's the only song I'd skip here because of its music. The lyrics, on the hand, could prompt more of that. I kept catching snippets here and there and every instance led to some serious rolling of eyeballs, the more the album ran on.

So, I ended up liking some of this but not wanting to come back to it. I certainly have no interest in checking out any of their music videos. They might be hilarious, but I'm here for the music and it's not entirely possible to just enjoy it on its own merits. C'est la vie.

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