- Released: March 6, 2001
- Label: Vagrant Records
Q - Summer/01, p.1103 stars out of 5
- "...Manages to sound traditional and contemporary, fresh and respectful, and offers proof that it is possible to look cool 'and' sound good at the same time."
Uncut - 9/01, p.994 stars out of 5
- "...Their best and rawest since 1995's HOT CHARITY, it's the familiar Rocket blend of handclaps, horns, blazing tunes and malicious humour, apparently re-invigorated by the downscaling to indie status..."
Alternative Press - 5/01, pp.84,874 out of 5
- "...An admixture of Stax soul, raw-boned punk rock, and California beach-pop that sounds more focussed than their previous outings..."
Magnet - 4-5/01, p.88
"...Absolutely top-shelf, perfect for guzzling and suitable for framing. Is it bad? Yes, it's 'very' bad. It's so bad, it's unstoppable....It isn't just monstrous, it's gleefully, unaplogetically monstrous..."
CMJ - 3/5/01, p.6
"...A rip-roaring return to form, bursting with the kind of blasting rowdy, meaty rock'n'roll that keeps fans coming back for more..."
NME (Magazine) - 6/23/01, p.388 out of 10
- "...Channelling rock'n'roll like a crazed Vegas medium, it's a nuclear blast, a land speed record..."
- 1.Straight American Slave
- 2.Carne Voodoo
- 3.White Belt
- 4.Out of Control
- 5.Return of the Liar
- 6.Heart of a Rat
- 7.Venom Venom
- 8.Savior Faire
- 10.Dead Seeds
- 11.This Bad Check Is Gonna Stick
- 13.Ghost Shark
Rocket From The Crypt: Speedo, N.D. (vocals, guitar); Apollo 9 (vocals, saxophone); JC2000 (vocals, trumpet); Petey X (vocals, bass); Ruby Mars (drums).
Additional personnel: Gar Wood (vocals); Jim Dickinson (piano); Jon Wurster (drums).
Engineers include: Donnell Cameron, Chad Blinman, Mark Trombino.
Recorded at Westbeach Recorders, Hollywood, California; McCain Recorders, Memphis, Tennessee; Sunset Sound and Ecstasy, Los Angeles, California.
Personnel: Jon Wurster (drums); Gar Wood (background vocals).
Audio Mixers: Donnell Cameron; Stuart Sikes.
Rebounding from both a messy extrication from Interscope and the departure of founding drummer Atom, Rocket recruited San Diego scene vet Mario Rubalcaba to fill in and whipped out the fierce and fine Group Sounds. Superchunk's Jon Wurster actually plays the skins on most of the tracks, as Rubalcaba (redubbed in Rocket-style Ruby Mars) only officially joined towards the end of recording, but either way the band sounds fully up to necessary events. "Straight American Slave" says that much at the start -- it's Rocket as all have come to know and love them, garage/punk/R&B grooves tightly wound as hell, horns ripping joyfully through the mix, call and response choruses, and Reis as always the at-once slick and raging frontman. From there it's barely a breath taken before launching into "Carne Voodoo," and the instant party atmosphere that Rocket know how to nail just so runs rampant. Having participated in a slew of fine solo efforts and projects all throughout 2000 like the Hot Snakes and the Sultans, hearing Reis take full charge with Rocket again seems like coming home to something especially great. Hints of other influences and approaches certainly crop up on the slightly calmer "S.O.S." and most notably with the marvelous closing track "Ghost Shark." A big woozy slow number with a bit of emotional bite, it makes for a perfect ending, with legendary producer Jim Dickinson adding piano. Those who want more of what Rocket does so well can't be disappointed, though. Sure to be future classics include "White Belt," which never seems to stop building up, the utterly anthemic "Heart of a Rat," and the no-less-so "This Bad Check Is Gonna Stick" -- with bells, even! Ten years since Rocket's first full-length, the sextet still sounds like they're on a live wire with an endless power source, as inspiring here as ever before. ~ Ned Raggett