JOHN DIVA AND THE ROCKETS OF LOVE
MAMA SAID ROCK IS DEAD
Released on February 8, 2019 (SPV/Steamhammer)
My first exposure to John Diva & The Rockets of Love was their video for the first single from Mama Said Rock Is Dead called “Lolita.” The somewhat ridiculous albeit convivial video is akin to Steel Panther‘s over-the-top nod to the ’80s with scantily clad women and lots of rock star poses. The song itself does bear some resemblance to David Lee Roth’s “A ‘Lil Ain’t Enough” and the video gives a huge nod to Roth‘s “California Girls” with his class-clown antics and multiple attire changes. Take from that what you will but I must say this band has some real talent to showcase and is the epitome of the genre of music Sleaze Roxx was born to cover.
The comparisons to Steel Panther are going to be obvious with John Diva & The Rockets of Love being a bunch of dudes who look to be well into their ’40s wearing headbands, spandex and heavy guy-liner. In fact, lead guitarist J.J. Love is the only member who does not sport some type of head gear — either because the other members are wearing wigs and/or perhaps J.J. is the only member who is not affected by male-pattern baldness.
Upon hearing the album, there will be many Bon Jovi fans wishing this is what their latest album would have sounded like. Lead vocalist John Diva‘s pipes also closely resemble Jon Bon Jovi‘s mid-tenor rasp and the band does cover a few Bon Jovi tracks as part of their live set. Probably the most Bon Jovi sounding tracks on Mama Said Rock Is Dead would be “Blinded” (which is cut from the same cloth as “Livin’ On a Prayer”), “Wild Life” and “Fire Eyes” which all capture a huge essence of 1980s radio friendly power-pop.
Mama Said Rock Is Dead does not have a weak track to be heard. Even the ballad (which I typically skip over on most rock albums) “Just A Night Away” moves into power-ballad territory after about a minute into the song. No expense has been spared in the sound production of the album nor the videos that have been released. And again comparable with Steel Panther, the band appears to be veteran musicians who can write and perform music very well without losing the fun factor that so many musicians fall victim to. Lead guitarists, J.J. Love and Snake Rocket, produce some of the sweetest sounds that the instrument can create.
Quite interestingly, as American as their videos attempt to make them out to be, the band seems to be doing quite well in its home country of Germany. John Diva & The Rockets of Love are already getting theatre-sized crowds of nearly 2,000 people per night, have taken part in rock festivals and Mama Said Rock Is Dead is doing well on German rock charts. John Diva & The Rockets of Love make full use of lights, explosions and lots of dancing girls doing back-up vocals creating shows that are as much of a fun spectacle as they are to listen to.
I’m glad to see more bands like this keeping up the fun 1980s vibe with an utter refusal to take themselves with an iota of seriousness. I am anticipating the band to continue its rise in popularity outside of Germany and into the rest of continental Europe.
03. Rock’n’roll Heaven
04. Wild Life
06. Dance Dirty
07. Just A Night Away
08. Fire Eyes
09. Get It On
10. Long Legs In Leggings
12. Rocket Of Love
John Diva – vocals
J.J. Love – guitars
Snake Rocket – guitars
Remmie Martin – bass
Lee Stingray – drums
Reviewed by Mark Horvath for Sleaze Roxx, February 2019
John Diva & The Rockets of Love‘s “Lolita” video:
Taken from the album ‘MAMA SAID ROCK IS DEAD’ – Out February 08th, 2019 Pre-Order Link: https://johndiva.lnk.to/MamaSaidRockisDead Video by Sebastian Stumpe, AFFEN.AUF.RUHR www.johndiva.com www.facebook.com/johndiva.rocks www.instagram.com/jdatrol
John Diva & The Rockets of Love‘s “Rock’n’roll Heaven” video:
Taken from the forthcoming debut album “Mama Said Rock Is Dead” – out February 08th, 2019! Pre-Order Link: https://johndiva.lnk.to/MamaSaidRockisDead JOHN DIVA & The Rockets Of Love – Live 2019 08.02. Hagen – Stadthalle (Album Release Show) 09.02. Bensheim – Rex (Album Release Show) Special guest for KISSIN’ DYNAMITE 15.03.