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Rocket From The Crypt - Circa Now! + 4 [reissue] (Cover Artwork)

Rocket From The Crypt

Rocket From The Crypt: Circa Now! + 4 [reissue]Circa Now! + 4 [reissue] (2004)
Swami Records

Reviewer Rating: 5
User Rating:


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

The nicest thing about the new music dead zone surrounding the holiday season is the opportunity it presents to finally listen to albums that you never quite had time to get to during the more hectic months. For me, and I suspect many others, Rocket From The Crypt's (RFTC) Circa Now! reissue was one.


The nicest thing about the new music dead zone surrounding the holiday season is the opportunity it presents to finally listen to albums that you never quite had time to get to during the more hectic months. For me, and I suspect many others, Rocket From The Crypt's (RFTC) Circa Now! reissue was one of those albums.

Most people with any exposure to independent music are familiar with RFTC. Over the years they've amassed a crazed legion of fans through consistently impressive studio releases and intense, revival-influenced live shows. They've also managed to spin off roughly half-a-dozen other good bands (most notably Drive Like Jehu). If you've never heard of RFTC, perhaps because you've been living in a cave in Darkest Peru with a talking bear for the last fifteen years, their sound is best described as a punked-up take on Elvis-era rock with horns and obtuse lyrics. And Circa Now! is a great place to get into their catalog.

Reissues have proved to be controversial on this site, and are often derided as nothing more than money-grabs. In this case, however, it was absolutely for the best. Circa Now!'s reissue features the classic Circa Now remastered to surprising effect, plus four songs that didn't make the original album and slightly extended liner notes, though the liner notes are pretty much irrelevant. The remastering process has restored to the original recording's sound clarity and enhanced the listening experience by emphasizing the jagged energy which RFTC brings to their live shows. The sound isn't overproduced; instead it's become "sharp." This improvement highlights the importance of dynamics and contrasts in RFTC's sound. It has also changed the relationship between Speedo's vocals and the music, emphasizing the significance of his voice as an instrument that complements the guitars and sax (particularly on "Sturdy Wrist").

The four new tracks also enhance the original Circa Now! experience. Punk Planet's review of the album gave the new songs short shrift, and while "Lamps For Sale" reminds me of a slightly under-baked "Hairball Alley," the rest are essential. "Crazy Talk" is a short tune with a strutting riff that wraps up in just over a minute. "Flight of the Hobo" is a phenomenal song with catchy lyrics and sax blasts that are vaguely reminiscent of Pezcore-era Less Than Jake. Finally, "Over The Rail" is a scorching RFTC masterpiece that belongs among the album's highlights.

Fans are often the ones who are left in the most difficult position when an album is reissued, both because they've already invested in the album and because of the constant fear that the band will have pulled a "George Lucas" and destroyed a masterpiece. As an RFTC fan, I can say that those fears are completely unfounded in this case â?? and I'd recommend that Circa Now! the reissue replace the original in your collections.

And now that I'm thinking about it, I'd also like to recommend that RFTC be placed in charge of any future reissues of "Star Wars." I can virtually guarantee that with Speedo at the head, there'd be none of this "Greedo shoots first" crapâ?¦and wouldn't it be cool to see a digitally-rendered brawl between Luke Skywalker and Bela Lugosi?

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Hot Snakes - Audit In ProgressRocket from the Crypt - Scream, Dracula, Scream!The Marked Men - Fix My BrainDescendents - Everything SucksHot Snakes - Suicide InvoiceHot Snakes - Thunder Down UnderDescendents - Milo Goes To CollegeThe Clash - London CallingDescendents - AllRocket from the Crypt - R.I.P. [CD/DVD]

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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 (January 12, 2005)

I like spanking my daddy.

-Chinatown

i-type-poorly (January 11, 2005)

Oh, and to the one looking for their next Rocket release to buy, go for State of The Art Is On Fire. It may be a bit pricey (i think all eps are overpriced) but it has some of their most insane songs. If you love Hot Charity and ASG2, def pick it up

i-type-poorly (January 11, 2005)

Holy shit! A RFTC review! This isn't exactly their best, but score for the reviewer...

IheartAdam (January 11, 2005)

I just remembered, 9, 10, and especially Glazed = K hole.

Anonymous (January 10, 2005)

Nope. The label wanted to sign RFTC, but Reis would only agree if DLJ was signed too.

Anonymous (January 10, 2005)

circa now is one of THE albums that i popped my punk/indie cherry to... it still holds up as one of my all time favorites... i'm a huge fan and dig all their albums but what i like most about their early stuff (circa/all systems go era) is how the horns blend into their noise and never really stand out as "hey we're using horns" in the way a ska band would... it's just more sonic bombardment...

and live... they're one of my favorites... seen 'em more than 10 times easy

Anonymous (January 10, 2005)

scream dracula scream is shite compared to circa now.

Anonymous (January 10, 2005)

i agree with the person below this. circa now is fantastic. my favorite rftc album by far.

-WNB
jd

Anonymous (January 10, 2005)

i think rftc was actually signed because of jehu and then jehu went on hiatus and rftc carried on. at least that's the way i heard it. either way...circa now was always my favorite rftc record. i should buy this cause i've only owned it on cassette.

sickboi (January 10, 2005)

Huh. I always thought RFTC was a spin-off from Jehu, not vice-versa. I'll be damned.

ghostmonkey (January 10, 2005)

RFTC f**king rule. One of the best live bands ever. "Circa Now!" is not my favourite but it was the Lp that got me into them. Good starting point would be "All Systems Go! Vol 1", compilation, some pretty cool stuff on there. or "Hot Charity".

Anonymous (January 9, 2005)

hmm who cares about which band was a side project

Costanza (January 9, 2005)

faith no more's drummer sucked dick, and anything mike patton touches is fucking pure shit.

Anonymous (January 9, 2005)

"I'm confused. So Faith No More were Mike Patton's side project, even in the years before Patton joining the group?"

That's what I was about to say. Patton wasn't the orginal singer of FNM, folks.

Anchors (January 9, 2005)

Faith No More's drummer, Puffy, was fucking incredible.

mikeshitter (January 9, 2005)

I'm confused. So Faith No More were Mike Patton's side project, even in the years before Patton joining the group?

Anonymous (January 9, 2005)

R a d i o b e a t s

Anonymous (January 9, 2005)

AMG lists DLJ as starting in "August 1990" and RFTC starting in "Summer 1990", so it sounds pretty simultaneous to me!

ElVaquero (January 9, 2005)

I really don't think you can say that Mr. Bungle was always Patton's top priority just because it came first. I think RFTC might've started as a side-project, or as a simultaneous project which got bigger than Jehu did.

Anonymous (January 9, 2005)

"To the poster below: Circa Now! wasn't RFTC's first album (Paint as a Fragrance originally came out in 1991). Also, Drive Like Jehu clearly became the side-project... indeed, they were only signed to Interscope as part of the deal to get RFTC. Do some research before you criticize other people's research."

Just to comment: You're right, but the fact that DLJ were signed by riding on RFTC's coattails doesn't necessarily prove which band is the side project. Consider Mr. Bungle and Faith No More: Faith No More were signed first, but were really more of a side project to Mike Patton's original project, Mr. Bungle.

Anonymous (January 8, 2005)

Tremendous band, tremendous. Hopefully we'll get a new album sooner rather than later.

I actually got into them when I was a 15 year-old ska dork - I saw a press photo of the band, and I said to myself: OMG! OMG! HORNS! SKA! and then I rushed to the store and picked up one of their albums. Then I listened to it and I said: "Oh. This is garage rock with horns... ... ... ... THIS SHIT IS AWESOME!"

Thankfully I moved on from ska to punk and indie, and I largely credit the V24 rock machine that is RFTC for the life-saving rock transfusion.

Anonymous (January 8, 2005)

i'm a huge rocket fan, and i own more of their records than any other band, but i've listened to this album on several occasions in record stores and it's just never grabbed me the way most of their other stuff has; it doesn't seem to have the classic feel and hooks that scream, dracula, scream (my personal favorite) does

maybe i should get this and see if it grows on me

-notaclevername

Anonymous (January 8, 2005)

To the poster below: Circa Now! wasn't RFTC's first album (Paint as a Fragrance originally came out in 1991). Also, Drive Like Jehu clearly became the side-project... indeed, they were only signed to Interscope as part of the deal to get RFTC. Do some research before you criticize other people's research.

OC

Anonymous (January 8, 2005)

ok- this has gone on long enough. i never post on this shit, but Drive Like Jehu was around before RFTC. jesus christ. do a little research. DLJ: s/t=1991. RFTC: Circa Now=1993.

TK (January 8, 2005)

No shitting this was the first Compact Disk I bought when I actually scrubbed up enough money for a player when I was like 15. Takes me back.. Making my friends listen to Ditch Digger. Them wanting to instead throw rocks at stuff and then turning on me with said rocks after I repeated that song 60 times. RFTC is great. I love saying no shitting.

Anonymous (January 8, 2005)

Great classic album...essential

Anonymous (January 8, 2005)

Thanks. And El Vaquero - next time I'll just use the "Contact Us" button... it was late, though, can you blame me?

OC

inagreendase (January 8, 2005)

Yeah, you could barely make out the " 4" on the cover so I wasn't sure. It's all fixed.

Anonymous (January 8, 2005)

This is what i am talking bout, this band rules. rftc know how to party on record and live.

Anonymous (January 8, 2005)

i like Hot Snakes better. ditto with Drive Like Jehu but that goes without saying..

ElVaquero (January 8, 2005)

OC, you could probably just im or email brian.

"Iloveadam" I meant that one album got old fast, jesus christ I don't think my tastes have ever been so hilariously lambasted. Someone didn't even pay attention to my comment in the latest Pennywise article. AWESOME!
This album still kicks ass by the way.

Anonymous (January 8, 2005)

Ahh... I see that Punknews won't accept the "plus" symbol. Could I suggest "Circa Now! Plus Four" as an alternative?

OC

Anonymous (January 8, 2005)

Punknews Editors,

I appreciate you posting my review. Nevertheless, I couldn't help but notice two surprising mistakes made during your editing of my work which I thought you might wish to correct.

First, the album title is actually "Circa Now! Four" not "Circa Now [reissue]." Although it's awkward, the band even changed the original artwork to incorporated the " 4" in the title.

Second, in the second paragraph the next to last sentence should read: "If youâ??ve never heard of RFTC, perhaps because youâ??ve been living in a cave in Darkest Peru with a talking bear for the last fifteen years, their sound is best described as a punked-up take on Elvis-era rock with horns and obtuse lyrics."

I realize this is nit-picky stuff and reviews aren't required to be perfect (or even literate), but I noticed the mistakes and I assume others will as well.

Thanks,

OC

IheartAdam (January 8, 2005)

RFTC gets no complaints from me thanks to their tireless recording over the years but this was my least favorite album of all 72 of them. They never got "real old, real fast" either. El Vaquero is just a douche who thinks Pennywise is cutting edge.

Group Sounds was their best release. Bill should get a copy of Paint as a Fragrance and the last one Live From Camp X-ray. Both solid releases.

ElVaquero (January 8, 2005)

probably their best album, too bad i like rftc more. i don't get the obsession with scream, dracula, scream... that shit gets old REAL fast.

TheOneTrueBill (January 8, 2005)

Alright, RFTC has a million releases. These are what I have now

Scream Dracula Scream
All Systems Go 2
RFTC
Group Sounds
Hot Charity/Cut Carfully
On The Prowl 7"

Which ones should I attack next?

Anonymous (January 8, 2005)

short lip fuser is a really good song. but honestly, the rest of it is solid but nothing great. RFTC would do way better than this on their next couple releases.

Anonymous (January 8, 2005)

scream, dracula scream.

maverick (January 8, 2005)

Which Rocket record has "On A Rope" on it? That song rules.

-Scott

notfeelingcreative (January 8, 2005)

Not a ten for me, but nonetheless great band, great record. Never really got into drive like jehu though.

Anonymous (January 7, 2005)

Go Rocket! Great Band. Too bad the reviewers name is OC-Barkley

Anonymous (January 7, 2005)

I think this is probably the best rocket from the crypt album.

I remember finding and buying Circa now about 2 weeks before I saw the reissue for sale, and getting pissed off. A week later my newly bought copy got ripped off, so having the reissue available is pretty sweet.

As far as doing a radio show goes, "glazed" would have to be my all time second favorite "Song to put on while I run outside to have a smoke" song. It falls shortly behing Nomeansno's "Happy Bridge/Kill Everyone Now" mainly for the extra 4 minutes nomeansno gives me.

Anyhow, Strongly recommended to anyone that likes music.

kenjamin (January 7, 2005)

but how does it comparte to Scream Dracula Scream?

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