Rocket From The Crypt
by Jon Sarre
The critical part of my personality wants to shred this new slab by San Diego Epi-grads Rocket From The Crypt, but he gets grumpy now and then and, to be honest, he can be a jerk. Maybe that’s why the other rock critics don’t invite him to their parties (ha ha ha ha!). Anyhow, my goofy side loves this record, cuz it’s fun’n’stupid, whether the band’s tryin’ to sound sincere or not. They come off, in fact, like they’re just havin’ a good time workin’ with a guy (Kevin Shirley) who produced Journey records and another guy (Jim Dickinson) who produced Cramps records. There’s an absurdity there and goofy digs that (and wonders what they all musta talked about).
Goofy wins here since stuff like the Mighty Mighty Bosstones tradin’ tequila shots with Elvis Costello (“Lipstick”) and weird rewrites of Billy Joel’s “Still Rock’n’Roll to Me” (“Break it Up”) are just too fucked to dismiss as mere whoa-oh-whoa junior high “punk” (though “Made For You” is just that). Gettin’ the Headcoatees’ Holly Golightly to sing back up and lyric checkin’ the MC5’s “ramma lamas” on “Eye on You” is simply a good idea. “You Gotta Move”‘s War-copped funk (specifically “Why Can’t We Be Friends?”) complete with Paul Shaffer and the World’s Most Dangerous Band alumnus Anton Figg on congas is bolt-from-above genius (even if it’s not the Reverend Gary Davis/Mississippi Fred McDowell blues classic)! You could probably say “Let’s Get Busy” crosses some more “My Aim is True” FM pop with Johnny Rivers AM pop, but most people wouldn’t know what the fuck you were talkin’ ’bout, but that’s not to say it ain’t charmin’. Oh well, just wait around and you’ll get your punk-pop protein with “Dick on a Dog” and “When in Rome” (“Do the jerk!”). R.F.T.C. speaks that language too. Hey! Hey! Hey!
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