ROCKET FROM THE TOMBS (The Day The Earth Met The...) CD
This is maybe one of the most mythologized bands ever, more than early Pentagram or Bedemon f.e. They were only active for less than a year-- from winter 1974 to late summer 1975-- RFTT released only one single during its very short lifespan, but its legacy was magnified by the two bands that sprung from its ashes: the mighty Dead Boys and arty, Beefheartian new wavers Pere Ubu. The band was founded by Crocus Behemoth (David Thomas), later adding Cheetah Chrome (Gene O'Connor) and Jonny Blitz (John Madansky) who became popular with the Dead Boys in the late 70's. Later Craig Bell joins the Rockets, too. But the most important man behind RFTT was Peter Laughner, who lived without any compromize on the edge of life and died in 1977, due to constant drug abuse. He was a very talented songwriter and a unique guitarist. His songs have been covered by bands as Guns n' Roses or Mission Of Burma f.e. At this time Cleveland was an industrial wasteland without any form of subculture. There were no fanzines, labels or clubs and nobody was interested in what RFTT were doing. There were only a very few bands around as the Mirrors or the Electric Eels.
So, enough history and myth -- let's switch over to the music. This 19 song compilation is the first official unlimited release of this secret material, after there were only a bootleg tape ("A Night Of Heavy Music") and an overpriced semi-official album around, titled "Life Stinks"which was released in a limited edition of 600 copies on Jack Slack Records. It isn't easy to describe the RFTTsound. The heavy and mad guitar roar is pure Detroit madness - influenced by The Stooges and MC5, with a dose of Black Sabbath, Velvet Underground and early Captain Beefheart. But RFTT were intelligent enough to create their own nihilistic and sarcastic rock. The first nine songs were recorded in 1975 in the rehearsel loft of RFTT and they belong to the strongest historical recordings of this band. Here you can listen to the raw and original versions of classic as "What Love Is" or "Ain't It Fun", who later were part of the Dead Boys songlist, or the mighty "30 Seconds Over Tokyo", a song which became later a Pere Ubu classic. This recordings aren't polished, but still listenable. While listening to it you still feel the energy, passion and power behind it, and the guitarsound is simply devastating, distorted and heavy as hell for this time and Thomas mighty voice isn't from this world. The remaining ten tracks are from two different shows, both recorded in 1975. You can listen to early versions of "Sonic Reducer", "Down In Flames" or the overwhelming "Final Solution".Although the band's own compostions are the best, they've also performed ripping cover-versions of the Stooges classic "Raw Power", what is a bit more intense than the original and "Search & Destroy", of course. There's also a nice version of Velvet Underground's "Foggy Notion" and a very very very short "Satisfaction" on it.
After listening to this CD, I still ask myself over and over again, why this outstanding band has never released an official album, because they weren't not only a band to be discussed, name dropped, and filed away. They are important as above mentioned band, and they are still sounding more powerful, exciting and uncompromizing than most of today's hard and heavy rocking band. Call it proto-punk, heavy rock or whatsoever, what still counts is the music, and in this case it's fascinating and beautiful. If personal conflicts hadn't ripped the band apart, they have recorded a groundbreaking album, which would still stand the test of time, together with "Funhouse", "White Light/White Heat", "Paranoid" or "Kick Out The Jams" f.e.. Yes, you're right...I worship this band for years!!! It has been released in the US on Smog Veil and in Europe on Glitterhouse Records.