Rocket From the Tombs: The Day the Earth Met the Rocket From the Tombs (Smog Veil)
Hey...I’d been awaiting this one, methinks, for nigh on twenty years, actually - having managed to score a low-fi tape copy of said material way back when. And, yeah - this one’s the goods.
To be sure, the sources - a demo & two live sets (both 1975) - are hardly hifi...but that (obviously) means nothing as to their musical value. More critically, though, much of this - albeit never Peter Laughner’s truly incandescent solos - doesn’t really manage to rise above its roots. Still...said roots are (almost invariably) the very finest of the late 60s/early 70s punk crop - and the best of the result, which has influenced almost all the genuine fire that has followed in said tradition, is, to put it bluntly...simply awesome.
“Ain’t it Fun”...to attempt some grasp at their greatness, is almost beyond belief. Hell...in 1975, for fuck’s sake, they’d managed to pull off a sheerly perfect meld of the meanest of Dylan’s lyrical bite/the Velvet’s consumate archaic folk-anarchic rock’n’roll flow & the Stooges counterpunching chordal surge. First time I heard it - albeit in the (superior) edited version, once (briefly) available on an Inner Mystique ep - I, quite simply, could not believe how goddamn GOOD this
thing was...no matter what the raves I’d already read about the band that had managed to spawn both Pere Ubu & the Dead Boys.
And...that’s before I’d even heard the atonal blurt of the original “Life Stinks”, and the corruscating drive of the first version of “Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo” - not to mention the best ever (recorded) version of “Final Solution”...w/a substitute drummer, what’s more!
Given that it’s pretty much impossible to organize the surviving material into the album this band truly deserves, my only complaint here is that they - really! - should’ve (also) included the edited
version of “Ain’t it Fun” that served as my introduction to the band...‘cause that - along w/the others I’ve I’ve already mentioned, proves their claim to be - quite simply - the very best rock’n’roll
band of their day.
Meanwhile, given modern editing tools...just fiddle around w/“Ain’t itFun”, ‘til you’ve managed a neat cut from around 1.50 to about 3.50 - and...I can promise you, the effort is well worth the sweat.
Because, the result - unlike the full version, sadly - happens to be one of the very finest things modern rock’n’roll has ever produced. For that reason alone - not to mention the handful of others herein that come close, you should - trust me - buy this...
John Henry Calvinist