Rocket From The Crypt : Group Sounds

Speedo and heavily tattooed friends return

Of course, they know. They know you've not been attending their church as regularly, how their blazing eyes and blazing shirts have become a guilty memory of a different time and how your attention has been seized by noisy young pretenders. But Rocket From The Crypt do not come in vengeance, nor in desperate humility passing around the collection plate to raise funds for their broken hearts. With their ninth album they have simply returned to shake the foundations and herd their poor lost flock back on the path to true rock'n'roll.

Maybe we needed a break to realise how great they are - problematically, their utter completeness leaves little room for development. Yet the last time they walked among us was 1998's 'RFTC' album and singer Speedo was talking about a human-animal war. Since then, they have parted from their record label, ricocheted through various side projects and pulled 'Group Sounds' together like a plot.

Channelling rock'n'roll like a crazed Vegas medium, it's a nuclear blast, a land speed record, an album that pinballs between the shamanic bad-vibes of 'Carne Voodoo' - "Bring me the head - yeah!/Don't bring me the heart - no!" - and the inebriated lament of 'Ghost Shark', the raging cool of 'SOS' and the brutal brassy stomp of 'Heart Of A Rat'. Some speak in tongues, some wrestle snakes: Rocket pick up the guitar, the bass, the sax, and play like your life depended on it. They bring the head, they bring the heart, but most of all, they bring the soul.

Victoria Segal
8 / 10

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