Rocket From The Crypt
Troubadour - date unknown
Besides having a great band name, Rocket also knows how to rock (get it). Their music is a wonderfully potent combination of heavy rock, rockabilly and punk. And, make no mistake - they deliver in a live setting. One of my favorite shows of all time was a Rocket concert at the Troubadour. They come with the dual Les Paul attack and never quite let up for the entire show, hitting chord after chord and rhythm after rhythm until the night draws to a close and you're left wanting more. John Ries, dubbed Speedo, is Rocket's frontman and lead guitarist. Although his guitar work with Drive Like Jehu was far superior (see the album "Yank Crime" for the pinnacle in noise/heavy/grind guitar), his Rocket playing style remains solid and seemingly appropriate for the type of music they're creating. RFTC's drummer, dubbed Atom, knows (like any rock drummer worth his weight) how to hit, and I emphasize the word HIT. If you play rock-n-roll, the drums should be thoroughly beat into submission at every opportunity. I think we can all agree how unsatisfying a wimpy drummer can be. Rocket also features a classy horn section (well, a trumpet and sax), and a dancing roadie. The entire band is typically decked out in very stylish, matching bowling shirts. At the last show I attended the shirts were black with silver sequins on the shoulder patch. In that regard, they get extra points for presentation (and fashion).
A Rocket from the Crypt show is well worth the money. In general, I wish John Ries would get back in the studio with Drive Like Jehu (it's coming on four years since they're last album with no official break-up). But, Rocket is his baby, and I can understand his priorities, no matter how they may not correspond to the desires of the rock world. Whatever the case, one has to appreciate Rocket for what they represent - great rock sensibilities with a love for big guitar sounds.
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