Rocket From The Crypt – Circa: Now! +4

Music Reviews Rocket From The Crypt
Rocket From The Crypt – Circa: Now! +4

A saxophone can make sounds as ominous and cathartic as the most badass guitar feedback. Rocket From the Crypt taught us this in the early ’90s, during the alt-rock signing frenzy, when an RFTC tattoo got you free show admission for life and a small-but-rabid fanbase snagged the band an Interscope contract. If Morphine were The Beatles of deep sax, RFTC were the pissed-but-hedonistic Sticky Fingers Stones. A lot of us weren’t paying attention, and, as the decade dragged on, Rocket came back a little less hard with each successive release.

So thank frontman John Reis’ Swami label, along with your respective deities, for resurrecting the 1993 should’ve-been-breakthrough Circa: Now!, the album that, in a sexier parallel universe, brought a saxophone into every garage. “Short Lip Fuser” still rumbles toward its fist-pumping “One of these days / You’re gonna get beat” chorus with equal rage and abandon. “Ditch Digger” still piles about as much guitar on a waltz tempo as it can carry, and “Glazed” still rallies the stoners in its escalating coda.

The new songs sound a bit like the rougher material Rocket dispatched separately from its usual work, on the All Systems Go discs. Overall, Circa: Now! + is a classic album and a comprehensive primer in one.

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