ROCK THE LIGHT: Giving Up Never Felt So Good: LP

The third full length from Sacramento’s cock rock darlings is crammed with thick, meaty, fuzzed-out chords. After more than six years since their latest release and the addition of a new band member, RTL’s sound has matured. Flavors of KISS and Zeppelin shine through with a range pulling heavily from ‘70s and early ‘80s-era stadium rock as heard in “Ishtar,” to a smoothed-out, languid ballad with “Mouth in Hand.” Meant to be played loud, this is just in time for summer. Points also for becoming my favorite album cover this year: some dude sitting in a hotel room wearing a quasi-Star Wars Storm Trooper outfit – gotta love it. Recommended.

 –Kristen K (Sacramento, sacramaniacs.com)