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Rocket From the Crypt - Live From Camp X-Ray (Cover Artwork)

Rocket From the Crypt

Rocket From the Crypt: Live From Camp X-RayLive From Camp X-Ray (2002)
Vagrant Records

Reviewer Rating: 2
User Rating:


Contributed by: JiveSideJiveSide
(others by this writer | submit your own)


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"Always hold tight to what you do as long as it screams â??you'." I've kept this motto close to my heart in my 22, nearly 23 years, helping me steer clear of any potential crap that life and music has tried to shove down my throatâ?¦especially when it comes to music. With that said, I was more than happy to pop in my advance copy of the latest Rocket From the Crypt record "Live From Camp X-Ray," which, oddly enough, isn't a live recording. A rather disappointing discovery, â??cause this record would kick with a little more life if it was captured on stage and in the moment, rather than soaked in sloppy production and forced energy. Rocket strikes me as a band that truly shines when face to face with an audience, which is a wonderful quality in a band, but not the only quality one would want as recording musicians. In fact, the title is merely the final line of the first song "I'm Not Invisible," and there's nothing live on the record (I doubt any of the playing even is). So instead of a sweat-drenched live rock show, it's a mediocre climate-controlled studio album. But not all of "Live From Camp X-Ray" is undeserving of attention, this fortunately is not the case at all for the Cleveland sextet.

"I'm Not Invisible" is a great opening song with a meaty guitar hook, and a first verse I'd expect from a band toting the name Rocket From the Crypt. "Oh we gotta go/ We gotta leave right now/ Opportunity knocks so let's barge on in/ I wanna beat the door down/ Just to look inside/ Our vital signs look good but our chances are slim." In fact, only two other songs actually rocked me instead of left me pained from punk rock cliché after punk rock cliché. "I Can't Feel My Head" is the sound they should stick with, showing off the little vocal talent of singer Speedo, and actually using the two horns that are employed for some strange reason, for they are absent and mixed down the entire record. The Les Paul crunch and grit of this band is pulled off perfectly on "Bring us Bullets," which makes me wonder why they were unable, or unwilling, to capture the same attitude or at least apply the same formula to the rest of the record. "Can You Hear It" is nauseatingly predictable, "I Wanna Know What I Wanna Know" has a synthesized string arrangement that it just too much to bear, and "Bucket of Piss" is boring tough-guy-pseudo-greaser punk rock shite.

Ehh, is all the reaction this record provokes. It's a real shame that "Live From Camp X-Ray" isn't just that, for it would've saved even my least favorite track on this record. Rocket could definitely have spent more time fine-tuning the music, for punk anthems are a dime a dozen and only a few are really that good. But songwriting aside, the bland mixing is the coldest nail in the coffin for this latest offering from RFTC. Horns need a purpose in the band and they shouldn't be pushed into the back of the right speaker, two guitar players should sound like two guitar players (even if they're on the same part) and nobody mixes drums to sound like Tommy Lee anymore, but then again, maybe I'm missing the point and Rocket From the Crypt are holding tight to who they are, even if it means screaming, "Bucket of piss/ And I'm proud of it."

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Rocket From The Crypt - Group SoundsRocket from the Crypt - R.I.P. [CD/DVD]Rocket from the Crypt - Scream, Dracula, Scream!Rocket From The Crypt - Circa Now! + 4 [reissue]Blacklisted - Peace on Earth, War on Stage [7 inch]Blacklisted - ...The Beat Goes OnBlacklisted - We're UnstoppablePaint It Black - CVANight Birds - The Other Side of DarknessRocket from the Crypt - All Systems Go III

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
branden (May 27, 2007)

nevermind. its actually pretty awesome

branden (April 5, 2007)

bring us bullets sounds just like boychucker and thats amazin. this album just lacks on all the other songs though. not enough back up vocals, half assed lyrics

i-type-poorly (February 16, 2006)

too many balls gonna kill us all

Anonymous (December 22, 2003)

good review, even though I disagree
i am constantly amazed by rftc: i own more albums by them than anyone else (except maybe the new bomb turks), and the only one's that made me go "ehh" are the one with the gorilla on the front and "Circa: Now" (even though I know that's a "fan favorite" of theirs)
this album is great, and "Scream, Dracula, Scream" is one of the greatest albums ever (to me). Period. No one besides the Turks so consistently amaze me with their energy and attitude.

HugeIrishMelon (March 20, 2003)

This album rocks. I'm Not Invisible and Too Many Balls are my favorites.

Anonymous (February 11, 2003)

come on buddy. just because you can't play music like rocket, does not mean that you have to give the album a weak review. let it go. take a deep breath and practice your guitar for awhile and then you too might learn to appreciate good music without letting your ego get in the way.

Anonymous (November 5, 2002)

Still checkin', so no worries, yr post deal fall on blind eyes. I appreciate the dialogue we began, and I invite y'all to post on all my future reviews. Next one is a week away. 'Til next time brothrs and sistrs, see y'then. Peace.

-JiveSide

Anonymous (October 30, 2002)

I think that what (are we referring to him as "point blank"? I'm the guy whose side he was wondering about.) So, what point blank is forgetting is that JiveSide made a simple mistake in the review. Rocket From The Crypt, Rocket From The Tombs. San Diego, Cleveland. This isn't a case of not doing his homework, it's a case of not thinking straight. He corrected this without anyone telling him where the band is actually from, so he obviously knows that San Diego is where they're from, he just screwed it up. I agree that there should be a standard that these records should be reviewed on, but that can also be detrimental. Sometimes it's best to judge a record by itself instead of as a part in the band's sum. For instance, Wire's Pink Flag isn't very similar to 154. It's interesting to compare the two, but it doesn't help anyone if you say "154 sounds nothing like Pink Flag! This sucks!" (Weird choice, I know. I just couldn't think of any better examples.) I guess no one will even read this anyways since this is no longer linked on the main page. Oh well. It was fun to hear myself type.

Anonymous (October 30, 2002)

Hey, thanx for the response, my last rant wasn't directed towards you at all, I just got on a role. I think it's very important to approach music, in the critical context, as objectively as possible and that means sticking to the piece in front of you and ignoring any and all other works. Which, unfortunately, is a stance we'll have to disagree on, but so is life. Now, my "good music is good music..." thang is my personal and subjective approach to music that I listen to. I pretty much don't stick to genres 'cause I think that's a narrow road to take. Anyway, I'll be writing more reviews in the future and I'd be more than happy to find a post from you, 'cause you're one of the few fans that can put two rational thoughts together. And I'll definitely take you up on that beer. I'll get the second round. Peace.

Anonymous (October 29, 2002)

dude, you're weak... you make a lot of good points but you ignore all the ones i made...all i was saying was that sometimes albums should be reviewed in the context of the artist's work as a whole... i don't think there's anything inherently bad about that statement... and you're user quote about "good music is good music and bad music is bad music", is the exact opposite of your whole tirade/response about art... as for punk rock being a cesspool of hypocracy, you're goddamn right it is (finally we agree)... look at all the kids screaming against capitalism while wearing 80 dollar pairs of dogpile bondage pants... but you gotta take the good with the bad... hey, no hard feelings... if yer ever in jersey, i'll be happy to buy you a beer and laugh about all this (or i could get you something vegan if you're xxx... just kidding)

peace out again

JiveSide (October 29, 2002)

First of all, "point blank", why do you assume anything about a reviewer, whether it considers taste, knowledge of a band, or his/her objective in writing? A review is just that, a review; did y'like it, why, did y'not like, why. End of story, you know nothing about me outside of the words I present to you, and if you don't have a problem with my opinion, for as you claim it's in the spirit of punk, then why do you sit at yr computr and tell me to justify my opinion to you when you already have it in 570 words. This record lacks passion, this record lacks energy, the songs are boring (with the exceptions I mentioned above), the production is muddy...what else can I say? I didn't like this record, and that opinion is one free of whether I'm personal friends with Petey X and saw them for the first time in '96 at the Warped Tour, or if I'd never heard of RFTC before, and now use the CD as a coaster on my coffee table. The punk rock scene is a cespool of hippocrates shouting UNITY in individuality, but the minute someone goes against yr flow, all I see are selfish brats taking their fists out of the air so as to hold tighter to music that's "theirs". Fuck you, music is anything but selfish, and sure "Live from Camp X-Ray" might not be my cup of tea, but that doesn't give anyone the right to feel that I've spit in their face and ruined their day. And the fact that you ask another fan "whose side are you on" just proves my point. We all love music, and we all love different music and who gives a fuck how you feel about mine or how I feel about yrs, the beauty of art is that it can be anything, and we'd be doing art a disservice if we all felt the same way about the same shit.

ps if you want to challenge on yr claim that my review is "error laden and misinformed" drop me an email, it's under my penname. That is all. Peace.

Anonymous (October 28, 2002)

just what side is "Anonymous on 2002-10-28 11:38:11" on???

look point blank here's the deal... reviewer's should do thier homework if they've never heard a band... maybe they shouldn't be ridden over a minor mistake they've corrected... fine i'll give you that, but nevertheless it is their responsibility to give an educated opinion and not just an opinion... i've written reviews for my college paper for four years before i graduated and one of the biggest parts of my responsibility besides just listening to the album was getting a perspective on the band (if i wasn't already familiar with their material), and if i didn't know enough about a band to review them, i'd hand their disc off to someone who did

why should we read reviews in the first place if they're error laden and misinformed... i don't care if i disagree with whether or not they liked the disc... everyone is entitled to their own opinion (that's the spirit of punk in the first place) but all i'm saying is that if you are going to have an opinion you should be able to back it up...

i don't think this reviewer did his homework, that's all i'm sayin'

i wish him all the best

peace out

Anonymous (October 28, 2002)

I always think it's funny when these two things happen:

Someone makes fun of the reviewer for a mistake that they corrected (in this case, the reviewer has corrected it many times below, but this jackass still harps on the Cleveland mistake. Nice one!)

Someone assumes what the reviewer is thinking and then makes fun of them for that assumption. For instance, "I assume that the reviewer likes Less Than Jake. Oh, man! What a loser! HAHAHA! You are such an idiot! Have fun at ska shows, dork!" That was fun and really showed him for not liking a record by my favorite infallible band!

Anonymous (October 28, 2002)

rftc has never put their horn sextion at the forefront of their music... their style has always been to more or less keep them in the background... maybe other bands can't pull this off but i think considering their longevity in the scene that it's working for them just fine... maybe this reviewer thought rocket a ska band? in that case hope you have fun at the next less than jake show ya dip...

Anonymous (October 28, 2002)

if you don't even know that rocket (a band that's been around for fucking ever) hails from san diego you shouldn't even be reviewing this... what the hell kind of standard of comparision can you have if this is probably the first you've heard of 'em... speedo's army should kik yer ass... maybe you'd like them better if they sounded like box car racer or some shit

JiveSide (October 28, 2002)

I can't stand Dashboard, and no, I didn't even imply that a song needs a hook to be good, but when an album bores me, it bores me *Yawn*, and this is definitely one to sleep to. Also, one thing y'all hardcore RFTC fans should consider is that to be a true fan is to acknowledge when something yr favorite artist does isn't any good. And if you'd like to add a little more credibility to yr opinions, try posting under a name so we can engage in actual dialogue rather than throw "you suck" back and forth. That is all.

Anonymous (October 28, 2002)

RFTC rules, end of story. This album totally fucking rocks, you just have to stick with it. Does every single song have to have a hook in it to be good? Or does it have to be catchy? Some people (bands) actually have different ideas of what a song is or could be. Go listen to your Dashboard Confessional albums.

Anonymous (October 27, 2002)

What a shitty review. DO your HOMEWORK! This album isn't as good as GroupSounds or any of the other 20 albums that Rocket has put out but in my mind they will never do wrong. Hot snakes destroys!

Anonymous (October 26, 2002)

You clueless tool...

Passive-aggressive cover up...Nice work..

JiveSide (October 25, 2002)

Sorry, forgot to change the album score. As y'all were.

JiveSide (October 25, 2002)

Sorry, "Rocket from the Tombs," the inspiration for Speedo, was from Cleveland, "Rocket From the Crypt" is from San Diego. I apologize for any misunderstanding.

Read the other posts before you run your mouth. Know something about a band before you pledge your allegiance. Thanks for yr input.

Anonymous (October 25, 2002)

Oh yeah, Rocket rips it up Clevo-style....Check your one sheet next time....THIS ALBUM DESTROYS!!

Anonymous (October 24, 2002)

That's one of my favorite jokes on this site, next to REELPUNX. "Hey Scott, Hot Snakes are awesome." I don't think I'll ever live it down no matter how unfunny it gets.

THIS GUYZ UZE HRONZ N THET R NOT 4 PUNX!!! OI OI OI!!! (See? Not funny. But I'll keep doing it. Suckers!)

maverick (October 24, 2002)

You think I didn't know that? Go read my Hot Snakes review here, fool.

-Scott

Anonymous (October 24, 2002)

Obligatory "Hey Scott, RFTC and Hot Snakes share members" post. Who's excited for the reissue of Yank Crime? THIS GUY!

Anonymous (October 23, 2002)

This new album is 28 minutes of pure energy. Who cares if it's not live?! It's just a CD title! I guarantee they'll make a live album at some point. Anyway, all songs are rockin and definitely worth your dollar.

maverick (October 23, 2002)

It's not.

And I like this album - it's a good half hour of kick you in the gut rock n roll.

-Scott

kirbypuckett (October 23, 2002)

Why the hell is the entire review quoted?

- Scott
http://www.local-felons.com/~uw/
(I get to see Walter Cronkite tomorrow....joy)

Anonymous (October 22, 2002)

when i saw the title a while back i was stoked because this is a band that should put out a live album, contrary to the bands that do and really shouldnt be putting out live albums.

They are great, I need to get this CD. The thing about RFTC is you pretty much know what to expect, they will rock your ass short and sweet and then its over. But whatever, they are great.

Anonymous (October 22, 2002)

This review kinda sucked...you say "'I Wanna Know What I Wanna Know' has a synthesized string arrangement." Yeah, they ain't synthesized dumbass. RFTC has yet again employeed a string section for a few songs. There are strings in 'Can You Hear It' as well. And how could you ignore the killer closing track, 'Too Many Balls?' It's message of fighting and being 'macho' leading to the demise of everyone ('Too many balls gonna kill us all!') is great...especially in times like these. I think this is a great album, not as good as Group Sounds (man, I think that was RFTC at their best...I feel so alone), but still better than most things I've heard this year.

JonBonBandersnatch (October 22, 2002)

group sounds isnt a bad album, its just not as good as scream dracula scream...actually its nowhere near as good although sream is one of my favorite albums

Anonymous (October 22, 2002)

prolly cuz it was on vagrant.

Anonymous (October 22, 2002)

Why do you guys think Group Sounds wasn't up to par with the rest of the RFTC release? I'm just wondering because I thought it was RFTC at their best.

JiveSide (October 22, 2002)

Sorry, "Rocket from the Tombs," the inspiration for Speedo, was from Cleveland, "Rocket From the Crypt" is from San Diego. I apologize for any misunderstanding.

Anonymous (October 22, 2002)

Cleveland? Where the hell did you get that from? So much for credibility.

AlucardX (October 22, 2002)

I have Group Sounds and Scream, Dracula Scream and I really like both of them. This one however is a bit lacking imo. The songs on here just aren't as pumping and energenic as the stuff on those other two discs. Still a good cd though, and a must for fans of the band.

Good review btw

JonBonBandersnatch (October 22, 2002)

yeah, group sounds was very lacking, but i think the ghost shark is one of their best songs

Anonymous (October 22, 2002)

this album rocks, especially after the unmemorable "group sounds". if you want classic rftc, just get the re-release of hot charity on swami records.

JiveSide (October 22, 2002)

Sorry, "Rocket from the Tombs," the inspiration for Speedo was from Cleveland, "Rocket From the Crypt" is from San Diego. I apologize for any misunderstanding.

StabbingGoldfish (October 22, 2002)

cleveland OHIO I assume

Anonymous (October 22, 2002)

Cleveland?

Anonymous (October 22, 2002)

this is punk. try and hold good charlotte next to this band.

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