Rocket 66 is a collaboration of seasoned musicians from other bands such as The Fits, The Men They Couldn’t Hang and The Members. Their debut The Comedown (And Other Smash Hits) was produced by Dave Allen (The Cure, The Sisters of Mercy, The Chameleons, Depeche Mode among many more). The band’s collection of songs tips its hat to the ’70s/‘80s post-punk and alt-rock bands of that counterculture generation. The band consists of Alex Love (vocals/rhythm guitar), Calle Engelmarc (lead guitar/vocals), Dave Broderick (drum/percussion/ vocals) and Ricky McQuire (bass/vocals).
The beginning to the album’s title track, “The Comedown” reminds me of The Who’s “Can’t Explain” but then after that it’s all Rocket 66. The opening line was memorable – “Oh my god what happened last night? I couldn’t get the drugs right.” Great guitar sound, a clean production and lyrics that speak of coming off of a drug “high,” but I think in this case the band was referring to an obsession with a lover. “Candy Nose” is another great guitar number with low driving bass lines, rumbling drums and a psych-rock break between the song’s chorus and bridge. “I Wonder” begins with an acoustic guitar mixed in with the electric and delivers an overall softer sound to the band’s repertoire, kind of in a folk indie-rock style. I really loved the play between the dry bass lines and the guitar effects during the break.
“Tax Man” definitely taps into the ska-reggae style with crunchy, quick guitars and a smooth and slick bass. This is a fun number – try not dancing to this one. “Ring Ring” features Rocket 66’s harder edge rock style and an overall great mix of styles – punk and European/Brit-pop from the ‘70s with modern rock sensibilities. It’s also a song that was originally written by Benny Andersson, Bjorn Ulvaeus, (of ABBA fame) Stig Andersson, Neil Sedaka and Phil Sedaka. I absolutely loved the beginning to “The Pout” with its heavy, thick bass lines and thundering drums. This one goes deeper into the band’s darker side, bordering somewhere between punk, pop and a smattering of goth. The band turns things around again on “Colours of a Breakdown” with styles of ska and pop-rock – another fantastic number! “I Don’t Want That Crap Around” makes for a great song title. I thought this tune was one of the band’s catchier songs, with its infectious bass lines, guitar hooks and fun arrangement. This would make a good anthem for the masses at any of the band’s shows.
“Politician” begins with an awesome bass line. The song’s style felt more like a punk song with new wave/modern rock undertones. Kind of like Television, early U2, Gang of Four or some of those bands from the late ‘70s and early ‘80s that came of age. “Roots” has an edgier rock-ska feel to it, something between island rock, Santana and soul/blues. A really great number and it shows just how well this band blends styles together. “Sinner” wraps up the album with a different feel. A rock ballad of sorts, bouncing back from a soft acoustic delivery on the verses and straightforward rock on the chorus – the backing vocals are fantastic here.
Overall, this is a great debut from these veteran rock n’ rollers, giving the listener plenty of styles to chew on.
We are dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We critique a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
Are you one of our faithful visitors who enjoys our website? Like us on Facebook