“Reaching for a book of matches
Strike a light and you’ll see the real mess that I am”
Des Rocs’ new EP This is Our Life is the blackest of leather coats at the Rock and Roll High School. Attitude and grit stain every track like hair-grease on your popped collar. Des Rocs does an amazing job at making each song unique but still infused with the same CBGB brashness. Truly the EP is pure rock energy.
Opening song “POS” is fit for an X-Games montage. Blast drums and fuzz guitars perfectly accent a BMX tire throwing dirt around a sharp turn. This is in sharp contrast to the introspection of the title track. It vibes like a Muse hidden track with spacy sounds and arena ambition.
My favorite song, “Nothing Personal” plays like a vampiric one-night-stand. Screaming pleas of unimportance, Des Rocs crafts a rhythmic love song for the Tinder Age. Whether tongue-in-cheek or brutally honest, the intent can’t take away from the chanted chorus and mesmerizing atmosphere.
That atmosphere is morphed into melody for “Pieces”. A soulful hymn of arrogance in love, the hook is just begging to be sung. Rounding out the EP, “Suicide Romantics” sounds like a My Chemical Romance ballad with less glitz and more grit. The song starts with a simple pairing of Des Rocs’ voice and a single guitar, then crescendos in the last 30 seconds to a beautiful full-band payoff.
Throughout the release, This is Our Life edges on the side of over-production with various effects bolstering that dirty ambiance Des Rocs embodies. Fans of DIY amp-and-a-dream rock could have issues with this amount of production. In addition, the whole EP feels like a retro-evolution from mid-2000s emo and pop-punk but that isn’t inherently a bad thing. In effect, Des Rocs seems to be attempting to bring that personality into the future by using vibes from the roots of rock and roll. It comes off less as a seamless synthesis, though, and more like different colors of play-doh mashed together.
Altogether, Des Rocs is making filthy-fun music for the rocker in all of us. His creativity and vision are apparent and I’m anxious to see where they lead him.
Buy it, Stream it, or Skip it: Buy it! This is Our Life is full of energy and style. Slam your beer, chase it with a Red Bull, then get back on the dance floor!