Rocket From the Tombs – Barfly (2011)

If the name Rocket From the Tombs doesn’t ring a bell, probably Pere Ubu and the Dead Boys does. In 1974, the original line-up included Chris Cuda, Peter Laughner, and Glen “Thunderhand” Hach sharing guitar duties; Charlie Weiner on bass and other implements; and Tom Foolery (née Clements) on drums while the classic lineup included David Thomas (then known as “Crocus Behemoth”, Peter Laughner, Craig Bell, Gene O’Connor (a.k.a. Cheetah Chrome), and Johnny Madansky (presently known as “Johnny Blitz”). Laughner and Thomas went on to form Pere Ubu. Laughner died in 1977, of acute pancreatitis brought on by years of drinking and drugging. O’Connor and Madansky joined with singer Stiv Bators to form Frankenstein, which later morphed into the Dead Boys. Both groups used songs first written or performed by Rocket From The Tombs as parts of their repertoires: the Dead Boys were known for “Ain’t It Fun,” “What Love Is,” “Down in Flames,” “Caught With the Meat in Your Mouth” (done by RFTT as “I’m Never Gonna Kill Myself Again”) and “Sonic Reducer”; Pere Ubu went on to reinterpret “Final Solution,” “Life Stinks” and “30 Seconds Over Tokyo.” “Ain’t It Fun” was first released by O’Connor’s later group, The Dead Boys, on their 1978 second studio album “We Have Come for Your Children.” The song was later covered and rose to fame by Guns N’ Roses when they cover the song for their 1993 album “The Spaghetti Incident?”. Rollins Band also covered the song for their album “A Nicer Shade of Red”, a compilation album which was recorded at the same sessions that produced “Nice” in 2001.

Rocket From the Tombs disbanded in 1975 and it was 15 years after the group broke up that a semi-legitimate album of their material was released and that was only in a limited edition. The Smog Veil Records CD, “The Day the Earth Met the Rocket from the Tombs” released in 2002 rekindled interest in Rocket From The Tombs, and they reformed in 2003 with original members Thomas, Chrome, and Bell, joined by Richard Lloyd (guitar), and Steve Mehlman (drums).

In June 2003 Rocket From The Tombs took to the road for the first time, playing in 6 cities to great acclaim. Old wounds opened up and the end of tour seemed to mark once again the end of the band for good. But in September 2004 they all showed up to play at the Punk Kongress in Germany and managed to sort things out again. A new album, “Rocket Redux” was released the same year.
Individual projects delayed further planning but in 2006 Rocket From The Tombs got together in Cleveland for a writing session and played a series of dates over the summer.
In January 2009 the band got together again in Room 146 of the Red Roof in Mentor OH, rehearsed for a few hours and recorded a new single. “I Sell Soul” / “Romeo & Juliet” which was released in April 2010.
The band’s third album, “Barfly”, was finished in August 2010 and release on 13th September 2011.
This is no brain surgery. This is a trip back to the 70’s. “Barfly” sounds raw and dirty, no traces of digital shit overdubs, nothing fake or which smells like the 2000s. This is an album of pure proto-punk and punk rock mixture straight from the roots of the genre. And well, in a world with no real values left and with all the things turned upside-down, when punk and pop belongs together and nobody seems to notice the absurdity, Rocket From the Tombs delivered a 101% honest material and against the “dusty” sound of the 70’s this is still absolutely fresh and breathing.
I buy souls. 😀


01.I Sell Soul
02.Birth Day
04.Butcherhouse 4
05.Romeo & Juliet
06.Sister Love Train
07.Love Train Express
08.Good Times Never Roll
09.Six And Two

“The received wisdom (at least in America) goes that punk rock was invented in New York by the Ramones who reconfigured midwestern hard groove rock and 60s garage singles into a formula that defined punk: short, fast, catchy, and unstoppable. But in some weird parallel universe, punk might have traced its roots to Rocket From The Tombs, a Cleveland band that lasted less than eight months and never made a studio recording.” – quote from the band’s official Facebook page.

Rocket From the Tombs – Official Site
Rocket From the Tombs – Official Blog
Ain’t It Fun by Jason Gross (Band History)
Rocket From the Tombs @ Facebook

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