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Rocket From The Tombs - Rocket Redux (Cover Artwork)

Rocket From The Tombs

Rocket From The Tombs: Rocket ReduxRocket Redux (2004)
Smog Veil

Reviewer Rating: 4.5


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

Perhaps Cleveland's Rocket from the Tombs are best known for birthing two of punk's most original, creative bands: Pere Ubu and The Dead Boys. However, as Rocket Redux, RFTT's (only!) studio album of present-day recordings of old material written back in the '70s shows, this proto-punk five-piece t.
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Perhaps Cleveland's Rocket from the Tombs are best known for birthing two of punk's most original, creative bands: Pere Ubu and The Dead Boys. However, as Rocket Redux, RFTT's (only!) studio album of present-day recordings of old material written back in the '70s shows, this proto-punk five-piece that formed in 1974, was (and based on this record, still is) quite a force with which to be reckoned, as they play raw, sweat-soaked, highly energetic, oft-crazed, and slightly sleazy rock 'n' roll with immeasurable bite - the type of rock 'n' roll bands 30 years later are copying left and right. This record is somewhat of a result of RFTT getting back together to play some shows in 2003, and as guitarist Peter Laughner died in the late-'70s, the line-up here is guitarists Cheetah Chrome and Television's Richard Lloyd, vocalist David Thomas, Pere Ubu drummer Steve Mehlman, and original bassist Craig Bell. (*RFTT do have another album, 2002's 'The Day the Earth Met Rocket from the Tombs' on Smog Veil, but that is a collection of live performances and original demos.)

Out of the RFTT line-up - David Thomas (a.k.a. Crocus Behemoth) and Peter Laughner formed Pere Ubu and guitarist Cheetah Chrome and drummer Johnny Blitz started up The Dead Boys. All you Dead Boys fans will recognize songs like "What Love Is", "Down in Flames", and the incomparable "Sonic Reducer" - well, this last one is titled "Sonic Reducer RFTT" and is as feverish a recording you'll ever find - as these RFTT originals later appeared on the Dead Boys' monumental debut LP 'Young, Loud and Snotty', and those familiar with Pere Ubu will notice "30 Seconds Over Tokyo", "Final Solution", and the final track "Life Stinks".

While many songs featured are upbeat, fun rockers, there are some heart-wrenchers, too, in the form of the extremely melancholy, down-on-my-luck "Ain't It Fun", with its main sentiment of "Ain't it fun when you know you're gonna die young." With it's emotive lead guitar and slower tempo (though it does build during the choruses), this one might just have you crying in your beer, as well as the light and understated "Amphetamine" and the affecting, mellow jam of "So Cold", a song that follows the opener "Frustration", a crazy, raucous ditty that showcases some delirious, disoriented yells of one word, and one word only - "frustration" - from frontman David Thomas. This guy's vocals are extremely distinctive, quirky, and, for lack of a better word, insane, and will most likely be (or, in the past, have been) deemed unpalatable by some.

One of the major highlights of the album is the epic-like "30 Seconds Over Tokyo", which is slow but delightfully dark and mysterious - slightly sinister, if you will, with it's driving drums, light guitars, and wacky vocals that turns chaotic around the two-minute 45-second mark before picking up a shitload more speed and showcasing some virtuoso guitar turns, only to journey into chaotic noise once again, followed by a return to the initial slow, plodding tempo, and a final descent into furious speed and madness. The diversity of this track alone makes it a definite standout. All in all, the 12 tracks comprising 'Rocket Redux' are timeless and a testament to RFTT's influence on punk and rock 'n' roll in general.

 

 
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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.
Anonymous (August 9, 2004)

"The Day the Earth Met..." is better. 19 songs, Thomas was yelling instead of doing that old man thing he does now, It's WAY more raw because it was recorded live, on the cheap, and in '75. I listen to this album when I don't have the other one because it reminds me how fucking amazing the early recordings are. Oh yeah this one doesn't have "Read it and Weep" or "Seventeen" I don't think. Buy the live album. This band rocks like the Rolling Stones wish they could during "Paint it Black"

unconcerned (August 9, 2004)

Aint it fun when you know youre gonna die FAT

Dave Thomas is one portly dude. I saw him perform solo once and he appeared to have been wearing this big red bib (looked like he could rip open lobster and eat it with his bare hands)

Good music... bad diet

notaclevername (August 9, 2004)

well this and anything else from this band is likely worth checking out if only because cheetah chrome is in the band and their "The Day the Earth Met the Rocket from the Tombs" is one of Happy Tom (Turbonegro's bassist)'s favorite albums

Anonymous (August 8, 2004)

This is a great album, I already knew half the songs when I bought it just from listening to the dead boys but RFTT make them sound totally different. I do like the dead boys version of "Ain't it fun" better though. Stiv can sing it more sleazy.

Anonymous (August 8, 2004)

cheetah chrome's been playing w/ texas terri for a couple dates on her tour in support of 'your lips...my ass!'.
can't wait for thurs when they hit nyc!
-Janelle

speaking of which, TxT interview:

http://rebelnoise.com/viewinterview.php?id=86&PHPSE SSID=457c2e32b213d7e20802c3fd4c76fca2

Anonymous (August 8, 2004)

"Rocket From The Crypt is infinitely more talented/unique than this band"

Cheetah Chrome was probably the most talented American punk guitarist. So I really doubt that.

RFTC are also simply not as good. Sorry, though.

-BSD

Anonymous (August 8, 2004)

I saw this for sale. I might pick it up some time.

-BSD

Anonymous (August 7, 2004)

is this from the matrix?

Anonymous (August 7, 2004)

janelle should be on the staff, she has written so many reviews. also, great album

Anonymous (August 7, 2004)

guy below - you sound like chris farley in tommy boy.

Anonymous (August 7, 2004)

more like rocket from the has more talent than the.......fuck.

Anonymous (August 7, 2004)

"Rocket From The Crypt is infinitely more talented/unique than this band"

thats beause RFTC hasnt had 30 years of imitators to make them seem less unique yet...

anways. both bands are great.

Anonymous (August 7, 2004)

Rocket From The Crypt is infinitely more talented/unique than this band

theevilmonkey (August 6, 2004)

Of course their different! Rocket From The Crypt came from inside the Rocket From The Tombs. Or possibly the other way around.

Anonymous (August 6, 2004)

For god's sake...yes, they're different than Rocket from the Crypt!!!

cripes!

mykindofmurder (August 6, 2004)

rocket from the penis is more like it.

Marlon (August 6, 2004)

.... and they're different from Rocket From the Crypt?

TheOnetrueBill (August 6, 2004)

Someone buy this for me. Seriously.

gladimnotemo (August 6, 2004)

"guitarists Cheetah Chrome and Televisions Richard Lloyd"

Oh oh oh yes.

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