Energetic surprise by an aptly named band, considerin'
Allan MacInnis | Vancouver | 03/10/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a VERY good disc, within the constraints of it's genre: regrouped (assumedly to right history and restore them to the throne that not too-too many people know they once occupied) by the original, now 50ish bandmembers, including a dynamic, ever-warbly David Thomas, whose delivery on "Sonic Reducer" erases the memory of any and all other versions of this tune and installs him permanently, in terms of singing-it-like-he-REALLY-MEANS-IT, as the owner of this song. The aforementioned genre constraints are this: it sounds like an exceptionally passionate 1975 entry in the proto-punk/early punk sweepstakes, simple, brutish, adrenal, bordering on spastic, with VERY direct, ummm uncomplicated, decidedly non-Ubu-experimental-like chord structures (but with excellent musicianship compared to the survivin' 70's stuff) that cut to the 'eart o' rock. It reminds one more of RAW POWER (or mebbe FUN HOUSE, but sped up and angrier), or of any given Dead Boys album, say, than anything being done now by ANYONE, and can do this with a good conscience (it's not just redux, it's retroflexed, but who has better claim on the right to bend backwards in time than a band who never really recorded these songs to begin with?). Sounds great to me; consider it as if the Ramones had never recorded a thing, just played some gigs (and say, had some boots of their material circulated), then 30 years later rose up to justify the rumours of influence and power with their first studio recording. That's basically what this disc is. These guys ain't YOUNG (I saw them live and they are, well, as old-lookin' as Nomeansno, at least), but they've got more sincerity in their songs o' teen angst and frustration than the music of most teenagers now anyhow. An essential document, and indeed, culture taking precedence over commerce (tho' these guys should really be rich by now, if there were justice in th' market, and, um, I don't think they are...). One dumb quesiton, tho': why does Dave leave out the "love is" from "What love is," when he sings it? Some personal rule about never mentioning the word love in a song or somethin'? Odd guy, great recording, and by the way, if you get a chance to see them play live...."
Rock and roll
alexander laurence | Los Angeles, CA | 04/23/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There has been a lot of good record released already this year. There seems like there are a million bands out there. This is one of the oldest bands. They are one of the most influential. Yet they have never released a proper album. Rocket From The Tombs made their mark in Ohio in 1973. They played a number of shows and were never seen again. Yet they went on separately to form The Dead Boys and Pere Ubu. So many of these songs like "Sonic Reducer" and "Final Solution" have been in the pop culture consciousness for a while now. This record comes thirty years later, after the fact, as a "As If" record. The band is mostly original members except Peter Laugher. Richard Lloyd takes his place. Their live shows have been said to be one of the best live shows last year.This record is like a souvenir of good times. Hopefully they will come back for some more shows before David Thomas decides to kick the bucket. This band is too talented and too musical to be called just another garage band or punk rock experiment."
Egebamyasi | Worcester, Ma United States | 03/11/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The review from Vancouver is better than anything I was gonna write. If you like David Thomas you will like this. Great Cover Art (not!). Richard Lloyd is quite good on guitar.He is also excellent on Matthew Sweet's Kima Ga Suki."
Good CD, good live
PJ | New York, NY | 06/08/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I saw these guys play last year and it was incredible. Didn't think a new recording would work, but Richard Lloyd's production is perfect - not too clean and not too sloppy. Just right. Most of the songs are darn good although I think some work better than others. Cheetah Chrome's vocals on "Ain't it Fun" tops Stiv Bators - although Cheetah is already too old to die young - and - RFTT's version of "What Love Is" definitely has more energy than the Dead Boys version. On the flip side, I think I prefer "Caught with the Meat in Your Mouth", the DB's vile reading of RFTT's "I'm Never Gonna Kill Myself Again". The jury's still out on which version of "Final Solution" I prefer, RFTT's or Pere Ubu's.There's lots to like - great guitar playing and drumming, good lyrics, great tunes. Get it!"