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Rumbleseat - Is Dead (Cover Artwork)

Rumbleseat

Rumbleseat: Is DeadIs Dead (2005)
No Idea Records

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:


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

As the title says, Rumbleseat is dead. The one-time side project for Hot Water Music's guitarists/vocalists Chuck Ragan and Chris Wollard along with Samantha Jones was never really a fully operational band. Having released only a handful of seven inches as well as a few tracks on compilation CDs, th.
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As the title says, Rumbleseat is dead. The one-time side project for Hot Water Music's guitarists/vocalists Chuck Ragan and Chris Wollard along with Samantha Jones was never really a fully operational band. Having released only a handful of seven inches as well as a few tracks on compilation CDs, they never really took off. Nevertheless, they managed to string together a loyal fan base, many coming from HWM's. Their four seven inches -- California Burritos, Picker, Saturn In Crosshairs, and Trestles were snatched up quickly. For years, only one of them, California Burritos, was still available from their label. Is Dead serves to bring all of Rumbleseat's previously released work plus some unreleased tracks to one album.

Anyone who was anticipating the release of the Rumbleseat album knows the constant delays that came along. One such delay was the loss of a number of recordings to a flood in Richmond, Virginia, which meant all the original covers had to be reprinted. For over two years fans anxiously awaited its release and until now, were let down with delay after delay.

The end result though was well worth the wait, especially for fans who didn't have any or all of the original releases from the Gainesville trio. Rumbleseat can perhaps be best described as acoustic whiskey-influenced campfire punk rock. Certainly not anything like what you'll find on the next Punk Goes Acoustic release. If you took Hot Water Music and injected their songs with a giant testosterone shot (which is funny, because Rumbleseat had a female member), took away the drums, and gave them acoustic guitars you might end up with Rumbleseat. For those who realize that my descriptions are worthless, take a listen to the Hot Water Music cover of "Bleeder" on their split with Alkaline Trio to get an idea of what I'm talking about.

As far as the originals on Is Dead go, the material focuses a lot on alcoholic nights and hungover mornings. While tackling covers, most notably Johnny Cash and June Carter's "Jackson," the band attempt and succeed in making them seem their own. The upbeat songs such as "Jack of Diamonds," "Picker," and their take on the traditional song "Rye Whiskey" are as good as feel-good gets. At the same time, the more somber "Saturn in Crosshairs," "'Trestles," and "Restless" seem genuinely heartfelt and at times regretful.

More unreleased songs would have been a great treat to those who have the original releases. While the new songs on Is Dead are great, especially "Shithouse Rat," fans could have done with more, even alternate versions such as the electric version of "Cursing Concrete" which surfaced last year. Fair enough, the band planned to include a bunch of unheard tracks before they were lost in a flood. But there must be something else lying around, or perhaps they could have re-entered to studio to re-record them. Rumbleseat certainly has no obligation to provide anything more than they have -- heck, anything at all, but it would have been nice.

It's too bad that Rumbleseat is, in fact, dead. Seeing these songs played live in some sweaty dingy bar would have been amazing. Some Hot Water Music fans in Ontario, Canada, were fortunate enough to catch a glimpse three years ago when Hot Water Music was scheduled to play a show during a power-outage. Not to leave fans hanging, Hot Water Music hit an ally near the venue and played nearly every song in Rumbleseat's catalogue.

Rumbleseat will most likely be constantly referred to as an acoustic Hot Water Music. Not such a bad stigma to be attached to, but Rumbleseat's songs can definitely stand on their own. With the release of Is Dead, they have been given the chance to do just that.

 

 
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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.
telegraphrocks (December 23, 2012)

Ace.

Anchors (December 5, 2005)

Nah they actually played here in Oneonta, where my college is. Worked out nicely, only a five minute walk to the venue.

Anonymous (December 4, 2005)

Anchors - did you see Latterman in DC? They were awesome, but the B.O. followed us home. Still, they're kids on tour - eventually someone will explain the concepts of "laundry" and "showers." Either that, or "Shower Days" is their favorite song ever.

As for Rumbleseat, the first half dozen tracks or so are excellent, but it gets more hit and miss after that. Still, different is good.

OC

Anchors (December 3, 2005)

Latterman are terrific live, they play with, and give off so much raw energy it's remarkable. The recorded stuff is solid, but I wasn't sold 'til they played here.

Oh but, smelliest dudes ever.

dev (December 3, 2005)

This album rocks, no doubt. I'm a huge fan of every song on it... but please, will someone PLEASE post a review of a Propagandhi live show? C'mon there has to be someone on here who's seen them on the Crimean Tour 2005?

Anonymous (December 3, 2005)

Finally, The "latterman are boring" people speak up. 'Bout goddamn time too.

Is it just me, or does everyone else think of letterman when they see their name?

---Trav

Anonymous (December 3, 2005)

"can i count this as an album of the year even though it's a comp? same for 'Cocktails and Dreams"

Cocktails and Dreams is the album of the year so, yes, yes you can.

Moo

Anonymous (December 3, 2005)

"that would be latterman"

A fucking men...

I have not seen The Latterman live, and I guess that's what I'm supposed to do, because tons of people like them, but from the songs I've heard, they sound incredibly generic and boring.

That's not to say I think the band everyone should be claiming is "saving punk" this year should be the thrashiest, grindiest, noisiest band ever, but shit... The Latterman's recorded stuff just doesn't have any edge.

I want to see them when they come through again, though. I'm guessing that's where it's at.

-Will

Anonymous (December 3, 2005)

does anybody have the tracklisting for the CD-R version?

Anonymous (December 2, 2005)

2 years?

way more, guyz. this shit was "coming soon" when 2002 was young.

Anonymous (December 2, 2005)

"Best bands on No idea:

1. I hate myself
2. The blacktop cadence
3. Tired from now on
4. PUKU13
5. Radon
6. Army of ponch
7. Clairmel
8. Small brown bike
9. Gunmoll
10. Unitas (Did these guys play the fest? They were on the flyer)

---Trav."

How do you figure that? Those are some pretty different bands. Plus, No Idea has too many good bands to make a simple list like that. That's just what I think.

-kliph

Anonymous (December 2, 2005)

Great album, highly recommended.

Godfather (December 2, 2005)

haha...i meant to post that in another review...sorry

Godfather (December 2, 2005)

BAD bands from NC:

2. Secret lives of the freemasons

keep an eye out for these guys....they're gonna be the next hawthorne heights....you heard it here first

Anchors (December 2, 2005)

Trav, I don't know how you can make a list of best No Idea bands and not even include The Holy Mountain and Glass & Ashes. Tisk tisk.

Anonymous (December 2, 2005)

if you like moonshiner, there's a great version of it on this album:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B00008J2R 9/ref=m_art_li_4/102-7531867-1581706?v=glance&s=music

a great band to get into if you enjoy rumbleseat

Anonymous (December 2, 2005)

This cd is great. Restless & Moonshiner are the best songs on here

inagreendase (December 2, 2005)

can i count this as an album of the year even though it's a comp? same for 'Cocktails and Dreams'

Technically no, but I doubt the internerds will come to your house to reprimand your keyboard.

Godfather (December 2, 2005)

Jackson is Johnny Cash's worst song he ever made but they made it pretty darn ear friendly.

i hate to turn this into a jc conversation but jackson is awesome....june carter's vocals in that song are the tits

pabstboy (December 2, 2005)

Great album. Jackson is Johnny Cash's worst song he ever made but they made it pretty darn ear friendly.

jamalxbearings (December 2, 2005)

This sounds badass, I need to check these guys out.

Anonymous (December 2, 2005)

Great band.

Bosco (December 2, 2005)

"and finally, my copy has a bunch of demo's and stuff after the 12 listed songs. is every copy like that?"

Mine is too, I think they all are.

skaboom (December 2, 2005)

To the person who made that list below, you forgot the best band on No Idea: Rehasher!

Anonymous (December 2, 2005)

The reviewer should have talked more about Sex and the City.

Anonymous (December 2, 2005)

Technically, four years is still over two years.

Anonymous (December 2, 2005)

"For over two years fans anxiously awaited its release"

i'm pretty sure i remember seeing ads for this on noidearecords.com in 2001, but i might be wrong. i do have an issue of alternative press from 2003 that includes rumbleseat in an ad for no idea's new releases.

and also, i know this is missing some songs, but couldn't they at least have included all songs from the 7"s? it's kind of disappointing that "walk through the darkness" is missing.

and finally, my copy has a bunch of demo's and stuff after the 12 listed songs. is every copy like that?

sickboi (December 2, 2005)

That flood in Richmond, VA sucked ass. I work on 1 side of the James River, and live on the other, and like 3/4 of the the bridges got washed out. What normally is an 8 minute drive home, turned into a 3 hour adventure. I remember seeing cars floating away and shit, right before my eyes.

maverick (December 2, 2005)

I love their "Jackson" cover. So, so, so good.

-Scott

givemeamuseumandillfillit (December 2, 2005)

I'm soooo confused.

AlmostPunkEnough (December 2, 2005)

so very good. it's amazing how these acoustic songs can hold so much more emotion and be 'heavier' than most metal/hardcore/whatever. incredible.

can i count this as an album of the year even though it's a comp? same for 'Cocktails and Dreams'

Anonymous (December 2, 2005)

Best bands on No idea:

1. I hate myself
2. The blacktop cadence
3. Tired from now on
4. PUKU13
5. Radon
6. Army of ponch
7. Clairmel
8. Small brown bike
9. Gunmoll
10. Unitas (Did these guys play the fest? They were on the flyer)

---Trav.

TeddyTexas (December 2, 2005)

this is one of my favorite albums, i have all of the songs they recorded that i got off soulseek but man, this album is not acoustic hot water music. it's bluegrass, it's country, it's rockabilly, it's amazing.

david_arquette (December 2, 2005)

Agreed. I picked up a No Idea comp at a North Lincoln/Glass and Ashes show the other night, and it's fantastic. 33 songs for free. Can't go wrong.

Score's for that comp and California burritos (the food, not the song).

SalsaShark (December 2, 2005)

Truly one of the best labels left in music

Incredibly true. No Idea has a bazillion good bands. Grabass Charlestons and Billy Reese Peters rule.

david_arquette (December 2, 2005)

1) I picked this CD up at Amoeba last week. Perfect score.
2) Latterman produced the worst smell I've ever encountered in my life. Period. It filled the entire venue.

Godfather (December 2, 2005)

2. Aren't these guys just a rip off of Hot Water Music?

that would be latterman

Anonymous (December 2, 2005)

the online rumbleseat "cd-r" that was floating around had a slew of songs not included here, but I would love this on vinyl. Wait, its on no idea, right? So 10 different colors of vinyl.

Truly one of the best labels left in music.

wyzo

xblakeyoung (December 2, 2005)

This review was pretty good, but here's how I would make it better:

1. Rumbleseat? Does this mean that it will make your chairs shake when playing it?

2. Aren't these guys just a rip off of Hot Water Music?

3. If I would of signed out when posting this.

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