If you ever wondered what went wrong with capital "R" Rock of the past 20 years, I can sum it up in one word: shame. Recklessness, bravado, cockiness, and swagger disappeared, giving way to a generation of rockers who identified more with Wayne and Garth on their knees uttering "We're not worthy" than with Jimmy Page in star-and-planet-festooned bell-bottoms playing guitar with a bow, high on an entire drug store and not caring about tomorrow.
Fortunately for us, Jennifer Herrema spent much of the more recent past blitzed out of her skull in Royal Trux with only a thin tether connecting her to reality, so she had plenty of time to inspect the astral worlds of her Blue Öyster Cult records and dream of a future where rock proclaims, "Too fucking bad," and guitarists mow down audiences with their minds.
It's entirely possible that she's reached her apex with her post-Trux band RTX's third long-player here: 10 songs, 36 minutes, twin guitars that sound like Helios Creed and C.C. DeVille at the end of a cruel tutelage at the hands of Randy Holden, all cramming in a dizzying history lesson of post-'66 hard rock from garage to Zep to Sabbath to Ratt with a million points in between. The ride pauses briefly for the Bic-flicking "Cheap Wine Time," where you have the opportunity to luxuriate in the smoky fog of either a thousand bongs or the tailpipe of a gigantic black muscle car before being sucked into the album's merciless second half. If this whole thing is nothing but wink-nudge irony, then fuck sincerity.