11 12 2013

Well, my amazing plan of whacking up rakes (yes, #rakes) of stuff worked out well, eh? Yup, got snowed under with deadlines again…

Anywho, here’s a review of the insanely good RFTC gig in Dublin from the weekend (which originally ran here ).


Live Review: Rocket From The Crypt at the Button Factory, Dublin

After teasing us with an all too brief reunion for kids TV show Yo Gabba Gabba, then downright torturing us with an Irish gig announcement and then promptly postponing the date earlier this year, tonight, in front of a packed Button Factory in Dublin, the absolutely seminal Rocket From The Crypt make their long awaited return to these shores and with all due respect to that bearded bloke from Bethlehem and those dudes with the bucket hats from Manchester, the resurrection of RFTC is the only second coming that this Hot Press writer is interested in.


Clad in matching mariachi-inspired stage clothes and looking like they may very well be real life vampires (hey, they do have a song called ‘I Drink Blood’ after all….), the age-defying San Diego natives’ set this evening features cuts from all eras of the band. ‘Straight American Slave, ‘Sturdy Wrists’ and ‘I Know’ are all aired within the first 15 minutes-ensuring no ass is left unkicked-and when they play the near perfect ‘Panic Scam’ a couple of songs afterwards, the punk-imbued rock ‘n’ roll group have already given us the gig of the year and they haven’t even been onstage for half an hour yet.


Frontman Speedo is in fine fettle (“Who here’s from Florida?” he asks during ‘Killy Kill.’ “I fuckin’ hate Florida” he then responds, proving that the old ones are indeed the best) and the sax and trumpet playing of Apollo 9 and JC 2000 respectively sounds as righteous as ever (particularly on ‘Made For You’), but guitarist ND is our man of the match thanks to some blistering solos and ace axe-balancing skills (all while battling an amp that seems to struggle with that “big sound of Rocket From The Crypt”).


Speaking of sound issues, there are a few moments where the brass is a little muffled and their singer’s voice is a bit raspy as it’s the last night of the tour, but ultimately they power on through and deliver a tour de force of soul-infused, garage rock. We even get treated to Rocket’s very own version of the Makarena at one point during ‘Come See Come Saw’ (who doesn’t love the Makarena?) and ‘I’m Not Invisible’ reminds us that the boys know how to deliver a diabolically catchy hook.


“Thanks for not forgetting about us,” says Speedo as they wave their goodbyes and while we’re touched by his modesty, there was never any doubt that RFTC would ever leave our minds. Gig of the year. Give it up for the band!

Edwin McFee


Rocket From The Crypt Reunite.For A Wee Bit Anyway…

15 10 2011

Yes folks,one of the greatest acts to ever grace a stage have reunited for one more show and, in typical Rocket fashion, it was most certainly unqiue.Here’s the quote from Speedo himself-

“ROCKET FROM THE CRYPT REUNITE! Apparently no one got the email invites to witness the sole reunion performance of the defunct San Diego rock n roll band Rocket From The Crypt. The band played a surprisingly tight and choreographed show on the set of Nickelodeon’s children show Yo Gabba Gabba. The unfortunately small audience (about five to ten 3 year olds) did not hamper the bands energy as they played favorites from their first 4 LP’s. One attendee was overheard saying ” I’m thirsty”. When asked about future Rocket performances the band answered, ” No. We are only interested in playing to audiences of 5 to 10 people between the ages of 3 to 6. Although we were surprisingly tight and choreographed , we will most likely never play as a band ever again.”

Turbo Fruits NME Review

1 12 2009

Here’s a reprint of my review of the ace Turbo Fruits record that ran in the NME last week. I’m particularly proud of this one coz I managed to get in mentions of the Murder City Devils and RFTC.

Turbo Fruits

Echo Kid

(Ark Recordings)


It’s been a decidedly difficult decade for devotees of sleazy rock ‘n’ roll. Thanks to the untimely demise of torchbearers such as the Murder City Devils and Rocket from the Crypt at the start of the noughties, there’s more life round Dracula’s house these days than there is in that once fertile scene. However, all that might change with the release of ‘Echo Kid,’ Tennessee tearaways Turbo Fruits’ second stab at success.

Springing from the over-active imagination of former Be Your Own Pet guitar slinger Jonas Stein, the record is a testament to just how inspirational teenage kicks can be. Comprising of 12 tracks, ‘Echo Kid’ wears its Dead Boys and Marc Bolan influences on its tattered flannel sleeve, but whereas their debut may have been a little too preoccupied with drugs-this one’s all about the hugs (of the sexy kind of course).

Starting with a riff ripped right out of RFTC/Night Marchers mainman John Reiss’ songbook (‘International Language of Love’), the record begins a little bit like a Ritalin fuelled brat and it doesn’t let up for 35minutes. While many of the tracks possess that same spazz-core energy of Stein’s former outfit, it has to be said that they’re also a lot more refined than anything he’s written before (well, he has turned 21 after all…). ‘Naked With You’ is packed with layers of sugar sweet harmonies, ‘Hold Me’ is a loved up, waltzing sea shanty and ‘Get Up Get On Down (Tonight)’ sounds like they whipped out their Ouija boards and enlisted a zombie Eddie Cochran to provide the retro guitar licks.

 Lyrically speaking we’re talking Ramone influences rather than Rimbaud (“What happened girl/You used to take care of me/Now you’ve got a new boy/ Who’s big and scares me” croons Jonas in his best Bolan impression on ‘My Stupid Heart’) and very rarely do we catch a glimpse into the trio’s real lives. But that’s ok, as this record is all about escapism and raising the tempo while lowering the tone. For all its slightly brainless subject matter, ‘Echo Kid’ is still as much fun as watching your worst enemy get punched in the nards by Ricky Hatton  though and by the climax of album closer ‘Broadzilla’ it’s clear that Turbo Fruits have delivered a very tasty treat indeed. So what are you waiting for? Dig in.  Edwin McFee

Download: 1) ‘Naked With You,’ 2) ‘Lotta Lotta Ladies,’ 3) ‘My Stupid Heart’