Rocket From The Tombs: Black

The Cleveland proto-punkers come back from the dead.

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Formed in June 1974, Cleveland’s Rocket From The Tombs existed for just over a year before splintering into Pere Ubu and the Dead Boys. After those bands imploded after causing their own brands of commotion, RFTT started being hailed as trailblazers in the kind of enraged cacophony that had been diluted into punk.

This relaunch started several years ago and finally manifests as singer David Thomas (aka Crocus Behemoth) and bassist Craig Bell, with Johnny Blitz, Cheetah Chrome and the late Peter Laughner replaced by two guitarists and the drummer from Cleveland’s This Moment In Black History.

Recorded with Thomas’s snarl up front and the band on screeching overload, they pile through new titles such as Welcome To The New Dark Ages and revisit Sonic Reducer and Final Solution, plus the Sonics’ garage classic Strychnine.

In this age of sanitised polish, RFTT Mark II should be welcomed as a new blast rather than an old fart.

Kris Needs

Kris Needs is a British journalist and author, known for writings on music from the 1970s onwards. Previously secretary of the Mott The Hoople fan club, he became editor of ZigZag in 1977 and has written biographies of stars including Primal Scream, Joe Strummer and Keith Richards. He's also written for MOJO, Record Collector, Classic Rock, Prog, Electronic Sound, Vive Le Rock and Shindig!