$16 shipped?! Are you kidding me?! RFTC split 7” w/ The Hellacopters from Gearhead Mag issue #10 back in ’99?! I mean, k’mon now, people! That’s a great fuggin’ deal (ebay)! Needless to say, I’m one notch closer on the RFTC belt, and a bit (overly) excited about this one…
Introducing, into the fold, the format family of hi-fidelity folly, Rocket from the Crypt’s 1995 release, a covers release if you will, and, for now, you will, Plays the Music Machine. Music-wise, these are covers by the world’s most prolific rock’n’roll band (RFTC) paying homage to the 1966 release by The Music Machine, (Turn on) The Music Machine. So (Monty Python’s “get ON with it” rings fairly true, here), RFTC’s 2-track offering is, in fact, because I now own it, pressed on 5” vinyl. So, depending on which photo your eyes navigate towards, here is the spectrum of sizes this, to my knowledge, format covers. 5” – 7” – 10” – 12”. Enjoy your weekend, you savage bastards (he said lovingly)!
(Clean your keyboard, fool!)
With shame and guilt do I type these pathetic and shadowed words… I have no idea what this comp sounds like. I don’t remember ordering it, spinning it, nor can I, for the life of me, recall even a fraction of any of these unreleased tracks. The Sultans, Sonny Vincent, Beehive and The Barracudas, Hot Snakes, and Rocket from the Crypt! Please excuse my momentary lapse of all controllable comprehension. This evening’s goal… digitize this album! Thank you for allowing me to share my scandalous humiliation… carry on.
With its jaw-breaking (and previously unreleased) b-side (Ciao Patsy), 1995’s unforgettable 7” single from RFTC’s flame-thrower, Scream Dracula Scream was, unfortunately for us Yanks, released only to the luxurious fields of the UK market. One of the band’s more prevalent tracks (mainly regarded by part-time Rocket fans as their pinnacle achievement*), Born in ’69 is as perfect as it is bewildering, and as rawkus as it is musically delicious.
* Lack of evidence supporting this juvenile claim.
Actually, it’s more orange than red… RFTC, Rocket from the Crypt’s 1998 album (and their 5th studio offer overall) contains the following Rocket classics, Dick on a Dog (hence the title of this post), Panic Scam, When in Rome, and Lipstick. It’s difficult to say, but to be honest… well, let me back up. I own 98% of every song Rocket released. I consider them the best live band I’ve ever seen, and it’s a toss-up between them and The Kinks for the coveted, “my favorite band” honor. That having been said, RFTC is, by far, the band’s weakest effort. How can you consider it weak if it contains the above classic tracks (you likely aren’t asking yourself)? The answer to this hypothetical is blindingly simple: the rest of their catalog is so damn good, that RFTC acts like skipping scratch on the pristine record of their discography (or something like that).
There is no bad Rocket from the Crypt lyric, yell, riff, beat, song, or album, but RFTC simply doesn’t compare to the likes of Circa: Now!, Group Sounds, Paint as a Fragrance, Hot Charity, Scream, Dracula, Scream!, or even Live from Camp X-Ray (not a live album). So, this brings us to the point (GET ON WITH IT). If I had to, as of right now, here is how I’d rank Rocket’s 7 studio albums (not including either EPs, for obvious reasons). The only criteria by which I form this humbled opinion is a) analyzing the album as a whole (instead of the sum of its parts), and b) how does it stand up to the band’s other releases. So, here goes:
1) Circa: Now! (released in 1992)
2) Scream, Dracula, Scream! (released in 1995)
3) Group Sounds (released in 2001)
4) Hot Charity (released in 1995)
5) Paint as a Fragrance (released in 1991)
6) Live from camp X-Ray (released in 2002)
7) RFTC (released in 1998)
Seeing this list in black and white scares the shit out of me, but I stand by it.
Listen, I know I sound like a broken record here, but I’m stuck under a Rocket from the Crypt sized cloud without an umbrella and it’s friggin’ POURING! Do you hear what I’m saying?! A stronger man may be able to control these things, themselves, but by God, I am not a strong man.
VIVA LA CRYPT!!!
(Photo taken from inside gatefold of the 1994 Rocket from the Crypt / Bloodthirsty Butchers split 7”, so, there you go.)
… the unconditional love of Rocket form the Crypt. Lorna Doom, whose song these lyrics are derived, do, in fact, NOT make an appearance on the album with which this insert in included (1995’s Scream Dracula Scream).
This means absolutely nothing for the majority of you, and even less for those who already know. Love, even that of the unconditional nature, need not be ignored. (Said he, while bathing in the comforting bathwater of his current obsession.)
In my quest to acquire (apprehend) every and all Rocket from the Crypt records, one that will undoubtedly never come to fruition, I stumbled across this signed copy of 1992’s Yum Kippered. Unsure of this item’s authenticity, I decided to pull the trigger for a reasonable $25. I had to cross Yum Kippered off the list, and figured a signed copy by the greatest rock n’ roll band of my generation was a decent selling point. So one “Buy it Now” click, a twenty and a fiver out of my account, and a looooooooooooooooooooooooooong four days, and this beauty was mine. A great discovery at a reasonable price… NEXT!
1994 was owned, operated, provided, and unconditionally loved, by Rocket from the Crypt. As I begin my solemn and uphill quest towards the “complete” RFTC discography (those in the know laugh hysterically), I stop to calmly admire these serene milestones along the majestic and jaded path. Burn Mouth Off Liar with Punk Heat Blast, aka UFO UFO UFO… this 1994 7” acts as another notch in the RFTC belt, and is a worthy addition to the collection, if only filling the void of Elvis-sized proportions.
Obsessions are born, not necessarily made. Am I willing to save up, and eventually fork over $1k for a Rocket from the Crypt record, perhaps… does this tidbit of information have ANYTHING to do with tonight’s gesture? Well, decidedly, no. Released in 1985 on both (this) blue, and white vinyl, this 7-track 7” titled, Mystic Records Super Seven Sampler #2 features some pretty solid hardcore licks from Doggy Style (not what you think), Wall Flowers (again, not at all what you think), and the then titled, NO F-X. $10 for this guy back in 1998 was a bit of a head scratcher, but looking back, I can’t imagine ever thinking twice about this record’s purchase. Indulge the senses, kiddos!
The SO is out of town, which means bachelor weekend for this here guy! So the first thing I do… start organizing my 45s… Apart from deciding to start a new RFTC 7” collection, I discovered this outdated sticker / sampler album insert. Titled iFloyd, the now defunct 14-track sampler featured a few previously unreleased tracks (from Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, Against Me!, and Dead to Me), and a slew of classic Fat Wreck Chords mainstays, reminiscent of the old Fat Music comps. Unsure of what to do with this dinosaur, I decide to leave ‘em shoved inside one of the 45 boxes, to be discovered again at a later date. Happy Friday, kids!
Live in the greater Los Angeles area? Feel the need to fill your vacant void with the soothing sounds of modern surf-rock from the master of audible orgasms? Then you, my friend, should checkout Alex’s Bar this Valentine’s Day, with the bombastic barometer of Swami John Reis & the Blind Shake. As the flier says: “Wine and dine your special someone with a special chicken wing and craft beer pairing.” Really, this day of single awareness, what more could you possible ask for?
A few beers and a couple of bruises later, the aftermath of an adrenaline-fueled, lightning-charged date with the World’s best rock n’ roll band leaves this humble fan grinning ear to ringing ear. Friday, January 30th, 2015 came, went, and brought with it one of most enjoyable concert going experiences I have, and will ever experience. Last night was the 7th time I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Rocket from the Crypt, and unlike this aging and pit-riddled walking corpse, it never gets old. Let’s do it all again tonight!
I haven’t seen them since they said goodbye, the first time, back on Halloween of 2005. Ever since seeing them in 1996, they’ve always held the title of “best live band, ever.” Tonight, then again tomorrow night, at the luxurious Alex’s Bar in Long Beach, I’ll experience adolescence in the form of the greatest rock n’ roll band of my generation.
Long live the frenzy, of Rocket from the Crypt.
Gearing up for my double date at the end of the month with San Diego’s finest, Rocket from the Crypt, tonight’s gem is 2008’s debut from The Night Marchers, See You in Magic. Arguably the most pop-oriented of anything offered by Mr. John Reis (save, maybe for Rocket from the Crypt’s 1998 major label killer, RFTC) SYiM is lover’s garage rock on two pots of coffee, with that sweet aroma of genius-Reis-guitar, perfect for wiping the worried sleep from your morning eyes, and great for that little get-me-the-hell-out-of-the-office-if-only-in-my-ears, afternoon pick-me-up.
There was a time when the only Hot Snakes I listened to was 2000’s Automatic Midnight. 2002’s Suicide Invoice came and went, and so did 2004’s Audit in Progress, their last “proper” studio album. Fast forward to 2014 when I got my grubby mitts on a few Hot Snakes tickets (Alex’s Bar, Long Beach, CA). And during my homework / listening prep, I absolutely fell in love with Audit in Progress, specifically the first four tracks, Brainstrust, Hi-Lites, Retrofit, and Kreative Kontrol. Rocket from the Crypt (another John Reis outfit) holds the candle to the best one-two opener for any album with 1995’s Scream, Dracula, Scream!, but Audit in Progress may be the crowned king of an album with the best one-two-three-four track opener. Automatic Midnight was outstanding, but Audit in Progress is downright spectacular. Seek it out if you haven’t already.
P.S. RFTC at Alex’s Bar (back to back nights) later this month…
A gorgeous Christmas gift from the SO, this 2x gift cert from Donut Friend (Mark Trombino’s Los Angeles-based sweet-house… the drummer of Drive Like Jehu, k’mon), will afford this here guy a delicious “Chocolate from the Crypt” and a “Drive Like Jelly.” A proper post to follow, post-donut-consumption, but all are happy campers here at the PG with this amazing, sugar-laced gift cert.