Thursday, May 27, 2010
Rocket From the Tombs - 7"
Rocket From the Tombs
I Sell Soul + Romeo & Juliet
As the first new music from legendary proto-punk rock ballbusters Rocket From the Tombs (hit up Google to what RFTT was up to back in the mid-70s), this 7-inch is a thrill merely for existing. But it also comes with high expectations: can the combo of original members David Thomas (Pere Ubu), Cheetah Chrome (the Dead Boys) and Craig Bell (Mirrors) and (relatively) new guys Richard Lloyd (Television) and Steve Mehlman (Pere Ubu) do anything to equal the primal, pioneering Midwest power rock of the original, Peter Laughner-led incarnation? Maybe not, but that doesn’t mean this isn’t worth your time.
I Sell Soul kicks the door down with the kind of fury bands half these guys’ age don’t possess, and if Thomas’ famously bizarre voice is getting even weirder with age, it just gives this anus-ripper an even more distinct edge. Romeo & Juliet is a harder sell – essentially a radical rewrite of the Reflections’ 1964 pop hit (Just Like) Romeo & Juliet, the tune unfurls with the deliberate pace of the erosion of sanity. It’s not nearly as openly accessible as I Sell Soul, but it draws you into its hermetic world before you realize what’s happened.
It’s unclear whether this 45 is a teaser for the proverbial more to come, or a burst of sudden creativity that stands on its own. Either way, it proves that the Rocket From the Tombs saga is far from over.
- Michael Toland