Damn, I am so excited about this album. Rocket From the Tombs are the legendary precursor to Pere Ubu and the Dead Boys, featuring such key players as Dave Thomas, Peter Laughner, Gene O'Connor (aka Cheetah Chrome), Craig Bell and sometimes Stiv Bators.
The askewed rise to fame and untimely death of several members have, over the years, solidified RFTT's status as the most talked about and least heard band of the 1970s Cleveland punk scene. The fact that they never recorded an album, or officially released anything, has propelled them to mythical ranks, shrouded in rumors of their live shows opening for the likes of Television and Captain Beefheart, and hushed hearsay about the existence of mysterious demo tapes that could prove the Rockets' merits.
The result of strenuous vault-digging and inspiring enthusiasm, mostly on the part of Pere Ubu's Dave Thomas, The Day the Earth Met the Rocket From the Tombs chronicles what little artifacts remain of this once promising supergroup. This is the band that wrote 'Ain't It Fun', 'Life Stinks', '30 Seconds Over Tokyo', 'Sonic Reducer' and 'Final Solution', for chrissake.
I've read some reviews that describe this epic collection, available in a limited double '180 gram colored wax' edition of which I am very fond (gullbuy bought the CD), as a sort of consolation prize for the non-existent RFTT album. But anyone who has ever heard live Pere Ubu, or, for that matter, the Gizmos' demos, Television's The Blow Up, etc., knows that demos and live recordings like those featured here can stand the test of time just as well as any stretched-thin studio output.
I've been known to scoff at those who wax nostalgic over some bygone 'golden age of rock', but I am honestly moved by the energy and, at the risk of cutting it down to some relic rather than something that can and should be thoroughly enjoyed today, the history, of this band and this album.
Just imagine hearing these guys play in some dingy Ohio joint, turning out the then-unknown greatest punk anthems of all time with the wrenchingly heartfelt ardor and painstakingly rehearsed precision that is undeniably present on this recording. This is the closest most of us will ever get to that experience, and, let me tell you friends, it's close enough for me.