Perhaps it is a touch unfair to drop the "cock rock" label on these three 21st century groups. The phrase has generally been reserved for the misogynistic posturing of '70s rock bands like Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones. But, in this culture of borrowing and reappropriation, there have been more than a few bands to take the signature sounds of cock rock and use them for a far less nefarious purpose.

It may seem easier to categorize these groups as blues rock, as many have, but I feel that the sounds of these group vary enough that cock rock better captures the vibe of these three-foot stomping acts.

Diarrhea Planet

A six-piece outfit from Nashville with four guitars. That one sentence summary of this rowdy rock and roll band is often overlooked due to the silliness of the band name, but Diarrhea Planet has established themselves as one of the most thrilling rock bands around. They have three EPs and three LPs to their name, including this year's Turn To Gold.

Of the three bands on this list, Diarrhea Planet is perhaps the most sonically adventurous as their sound has now branched into a brand of grandiose arena rock and has always had a slight pop edge. But one listen to this band -- especially a song like 'Ain't A Sin To Win' -- reveals an intense admiration for the kind of epic, shredding riffage that defines cock rock. But with a name like Diarrhea Planet, the group never takes it more seriously than anyone should.

Black Pistol Fire

From Austin by way of Toronto, this blistering duo is seen by many as the heir apparent to the throne The Black Keys vacated by adopting a more commercial sound. The scratchy roar of guitarist and vocalist Kevin McKeown is as throwback as it gets, while the scraggly haired Eric Owen pounds away at the kit with the kind of reckless abandon that makes the listener afraid the whole recording might just rip apart. The band's live show -- which I was fortunate enough to catch at this year's Governors Ball -- is the stuff of legend.

Tracks like 'Run Rabbit Run' and 'Hipster Shakes' lend themselves to lengthy improvised jamming that make hips quiver and heads bang. Pulsating, pounding and all around electrifying, Black Pistol Fire is a band that does not operate in half steps. They go hard at all times, and listeners will be rewarded for following suit.

The Stone Foxes

Perhaps the least cock rocky and most bluesy of the groups in this list, thanks in no small part to the prominent organ featured in some of their records, The Stone Foxes hail from San Francisco. Four albums in, the group has mixed and mashed their sound quite a bit, with sounds ranging from Nashville Skyline-style country to the crushing Zeppelin rock that birthed cock rock.

Like Diarrhea Planet, The Stones Foxes have six members, all of whom contribute to the group's dense and powerful sound. The inclusion of the occasional ripping blues harmonica part, illustrated beautifully on the earworm 'Everybody Knows,' gives the group their own little flourish that would keep even the most stubborn rock lover coming back for another listen.