ROCKET FROM THE CRYPT: Live from Camp X-Ray: LP

When Circa Now! sunk into my cranium last decade, perhaps it coincided with me buying a shotgun and finding a dishwasher on the side of the street to shoot mere hours later and perhaps whiskey is a dandy sponge to soak memories in, but that was a fuckin’ album. Heat, heart, rock’n’roll, throb, soul. It focused what Paint As a Fragrance hinted at and made a smart bomb laser beam to the happy spots in my brain. That melding of Tanner, the Saints, and Lou Rawls with dips into pot-happy psychedelia that didn’t blow, but had a horn. Yeah. Successive Rocket records – from All Systems Go! through Cut Carefully and Play Loud – definitely had choice cuts – but lacked that all-important end-to-end playability for me. I listened with half an ear, always impatient for certain songs. None of those LPs roared out of my car’s open door as we shot the fuck out of whatever unlucky appliance was left out on any curb in a ten mile radius. Live from Camp X-Ray‘s a fuckin’ ball stomp by well-seasoned players not fucking around with anything except playing their hearts out. Fat’s trimmed. Art for art’s sake is left on the out-takes reel. Veteran power. Lifer credibility. Newcomer energy. Wonderfully actualized songs. Thick swagger, shithappy-horny sound, boogie you can sweat to, just by listening along. These hard-working mofos are kinda like James Brown without the wife beatings and drive-by shootings ordered by God. Highly recommended.

 –todd (Swami)