[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V27qA1YHX7E&h=25]Rocket From the Tombs only released a record some 30 years after their demise. This record was tracked in Cleveland when punk was first rearing its pissed off head, made up of home demos and bootlegs. It sounds pretty awful from an engineering standpoint; the drums are too quiet, guitar too trebly, the voice distorts – and I wouldn't have it any other way. This is raw power, primordial punk production.
Maybe influential is the best term to describe this record, with its hyper-aggressive guitar assault paired with experimental vamping. Unfortunately these guys couldn't keep it together to record a proper album, but maybe that's for the best. The driving punk sound carried over to offshoot The Dead Boys, with the noisy stuff and Peter Laughner's spastic vocal delivery manifesting itself in Pere Ubu. Some of these tracks wind up on those bands' future records, and “Ain't it Fun,” was even covered by Guns n' Roses on their 1993 excuse to not write new material The Spaghetti Incident.
Rocket From the Tombs inject speed and feedback into tracks by The Velvet Underground, The Stooges, and The Rolling Stones in extremely offhand fashion. “Satisfaction” only lasts for a few seconds before bleeding into arguably the best piece of original work on here, the moody slow-build that is “30 Seconds Over Tokyo” - one of those future Pere Ubu tracks.
If you've ever seen the punk rockumentary Hard Core Logo then you've heard Rocket From the Tombs. "Sonic Reducer" epitomizes the sound of first wave of American punk for me, even though I first heard the song played by a fictional Canadian band. For something to wet your whistle that couldn't give less of a shit whether or not you approve, there's no better place to go than The Day the Earth Met the Rocket from the Tombs.