The 80s might be thirty years in the past, but one of the bands that made them great has returned in all their neo-retro glory. Despite their influence on future generations of musicians, it’s quite possible you’ve never heard of the Rockadudes. After all, they were lost at sea twenty-six years ago just as they were primed to hit super-stardom.
“Since we’ve left you, we’ve been swimming in the ocean,” says Rockadude Colby Zell.
That’s not strictly true, as the Rockadudes were rescued by pirates, and served for years under the notorious Captain McGraft and his first mate, Jesamine Blue.
“We were assumed dead,” says founding member Brian Linnen, “but like a bad penny we kept popping up. Even after Jesamine and the Captain were killed when we were boarded by rival pirates, we managed to survive by swimming to that island where Oliver Queen was stranded for five years.”
“We never saw him, though,” adds Jason Beil, who penned three songs for the new album while on the island.
“It’s like this New Horizons thing,” interjects Jimmy K, apropos of nothing. “Like, we wrote that song in, what, 1989, and now it’s all over the news again. They’re playing it on Pluto or something, which isn’t even a frickin’ planet anymore!”
“Yeah, screw you, Neil deGrasse Tyson,” adds Beil.
When asked to talk about the new album, Linnen says, “Well, we weren’t going to do it, originally. I just wrote this song called ‘You Were a Stranger,’ and I thought, hey, wouldn’t it be great to get Jimmy K to sing on it? But he made this face when I played it for him, and I was like…oh damn. He thought it was beneath him, artistically, you know? So I released it without him on my solo album. But then he heard this other track I wrote, Boomerang!, and he said, you know what? That’s good pop. That’s a mother ****in’ hit record. So we called up Colby and Jason, got in the studio, and it was like we’d never stopped working together.”
“Yeah,” says Beil. “The magic was back. We knew we couldn’t stop with just that song. So I was like, ‘Hey, remember those songs I wrote on the island? Let’s record those, too.’ And then Linnen became this song-writing machine, and before we knew it we had this whole album on our hands.”
“Sometimes I just like to tickle people’s toes, you know,” Jimmy K adds, as if waking up from a fever dream. “It’s not like a foot fetish or anything. It just makes people happy. The boys wrote it into their lyrics, and they looked at me with this kind of smirk when I read them. I knew what they were thinking.”
Colby adds that his contribution to the album, the hard-rocking War of the Heart, features more serious lyrics. “It’s just where my head was at. All that fluff that Beil and Linnen write makes me sick to my stomach. I just want to f***in’ hurl. But you know, whatever.”
Whatever the case, the boys are back with their new album “Numah Lenium,” and you can find it at Amazon as well as digital retailers such as Google Play and iTunes, and streaming services such as Spotify and YouTube. Give them a listen and you’ll find a sound both retro and as fresh as tomorrow. Far from being relics from the glorious 1980s, the Kick-Ass Party Men are ready to explode across the landscape of the 21st century, and as far as this journalist can tell, there will be no stopping them.