Rocket From The Tombs: Barfly

Proto-punks first album ever in 37 years.

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Before there was punk, the Pistols or Pere Ubu, there was Rocket From The Tombs. Fronted by Ubu’s David Thomas and also featuring the late, great Peter Laughner on guitar, the group formed in 1974, played a few gigs and recorded some demos, which were later collected into the album The Day The Earth Met Rocket From The Tombs, concurrently reissued by Fire.

This album, then, featuring Thomas and also original guitarist Cheetah Chrome in the line-up, is a belated debut studio album – or, in effect, a faithful replica of the great album they never got to make at the time.

With its ascending, propulsive basslines and squealing, scathing guitars, it recreates all the bristling potential of mid-70s underground rock, while Thomas’s lyrics, on I Sell Soul and Good Times Never Roll are the brilliant, primal, wounded cry of insatiable sexual and existential frustration that is the lot of the rock’n’roll animal.

A fresh crypt of delights, indeed.

David Stubbs

David Stubbs is a music, film, TV and football journalist. He has written for The Guardian, NME, The Wire and Uncut, and has written books on Jimi Hendrix, Eminem, Electronic Music and the footballer Charlie Nicholas.