ROCKET FROM THE TOMBS
One of those few was Television guitarist Richard Lloyd. “Rocket opened for us in Cleveland”, he said. “We were walking around after soundcheck saying, ‘That’s one scary group!’ And I was saying to myself, ‘I want to be in that band.’” Rocket From The Tombs blew apart in August 1975. David Thomas and Peter Laughner went on to form Pere Ubu, taking along rock classics such as ‘Final Solution’,’Life Stinks’, ’30 Seconds Over Tokyo’. Cheetah Chrome and John Madansky formed the Dead Boys, taking ‘Sonic Reducer’,’Ain’t It Fun’, ‘Down In Flames’,and several others.
And, again, the bad penny shows up. Rocket From The Tombs is back. Their newest effort, 2015’s ‘Black Record’ delivers eight new tracks, as well as definitive recordings of Rocket classics ‘Sonic Reducer’ and ‘Read It And Weep’ and a cover of The Sonics’ ‘Strychnine.’ Still fighting mad.
Fronted by founding members Crocus Behemoth and Craig Bell, ‘Black Record’ delivers anthems borne of decades of raw energy coupled with decades of experienced musicianship, firmly assuring its place in the extraordinary history of the band.
Loud, hard and fast, ‘Welcome to the New Dark Ages,’ ‘Coopy (Schrödinger’s Refrigerator)’ and ‘I Keep A File On You’ are not breaking rules – the rules broke forty years ago. ‘Waiting For The Snow’ and ‘Spooky’ are not band-aids to malaise – they’re slap-in-the-face wake up calls. Every track is an assault.
The band debuted June 16 1974. Between then and August 1975, when it finally crashed and burned, Rocket played a handful of shows, went through four drummers and wrote a set of songs that are now classics: ‘30 Seconds Over Tokyo,’ ‘Final Solution,’ ‘Ain’t It Fun,’ ‘Amphetamine,’ ‘Sonic Reducer,’ ‘So Cold,’ and ‘What Love Is.’ Pere Ubu, Saucers and The Dead Boys formed from the debris field.
Over three decades, the band’s reputation spread through underground bootlegs, the cream of which were eventually officially released as ‘The Day The Earth Met The Rocket From The Tombs’ (2002). Thirteen years earlier, a San Diego band, Rocket From The Crypt, inspired by those bootlegs, co-opted the name and went on to forge a notable career. Pearl Jam and Guns N’ Roses recorded covers of Rocket songs.
RFTT invited fellow Clevelanders This Moment In Black History to contribute to ‘Black Record.’
“No one else in American rock, underground or over, in 1974 and ’75, was writing and playing songs this hard and graphic about being f**ked over and fighting mad. No one else is doing it now.”David Fricke, Roling Stone