Rocket From the Crypt
Live From Camp X-Ray
Rocket From the Crypt spearheaded a charge of new bands out of San Diego as labels sought to cash in on the Next Big Scene following Seattle, in the early-mid ’90s. The music coming out from that particular burg was fantastically diverse, perhaps a bit too left-field for a public recently conditioned to trudging Seattle sameness. From the eccentric lo-fi King Crimson of Heavy Vegetable to the hardcore-with-a-trombone of Rocket From the Crypt, the children of San Diego were (and probably still are) an unruly lot.
In Live From Camp X-Ray, Rocket From the Crypt continue punching out with their funnycar riffing and orchestral arrangements. “Get Down” pumps like pistons, with vocalist Speedo’s stuttering “ma-ma-ma-ma” chorus serving up a big jolt of adrenaline. If RFTC hadn’t been messing with this alternate instrumentation from the start, I’d be tempted to call them on going soft, but truthfully, the string section is hardly out of place amidst the charging chords of “Can You Hear It.” It just sounds right.
Liner notes by Sympathy For the Record Industry honcho Long Gone John are a nice bonus, something like a crotchety grandpa telling you what a bad kid your dad was. In a time where punk is expected to be some sort of glossy chipmunks version of hardcore, RFTC’s nose-to-the-grindstone approach is a nice sit your ass down. As Sandy Squirrel once said, “you messed with the bull, now here come the horns.”