The 10 best Rocket From The Crypt songs from 1995
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1995 was a very productive time for San Diego six-piece Rocket From The Crypt. The band released their major label album ‘Scream, Dracula, Scream!’ in the autumn of that year, yet it was preceded by two vinyl-only releases, the six-track ten-inch ‘The State Of The Art Is On Fire’ and the 12-inch ‘Hot Charity’. They also rewarded their fans who adorned their skin with their logo with a single, 'Tattoo' – which now fetches hundreds of dollars on eBay – and ‘I Flame You’, a one-sided seven-inch. After absorbing these songs on a near-daily basis for exactly two decades, I’ve given myself a migraine ranking the best 10 songs from this glorious 365-day period.
10. USED (Scream, Dracula, Scream!, 1995)
Gleefully dipping into Interscope’s hefty recording budget, the San Diego sextet decamped to the legendary Gold Star studio, the Los Angeles facility where Phil Spector cut his teeth as a producer. As such, this release – produced by Speedo himself – was their most ambitious recording to date. Featuring a string section, xylophones and accordion manned by Speedo Sr, Used is basically Buddy Holly’s Everyday covered in tattoos and kicked arse-first into the swell of a Ramones gig.
9. HUMAN TORCH (The State Of The Art Is On Fire, 1995)
This six-track EP was the first recording to feature trumpeter Jason ‘JC 2000’ Crane. His role in the band immediately gave light and shade texture to Paul ‘Apollo 9’ O'Beirne saxophone blasts. Human Torch is an agitated three-minute swirl of hardcore soul, but the jury is out on whether the titular hero is the original Torch Jim Hammond or Fantastic Four founding member Johnny Storm. Either way, Speedo thinks he’s “fucking lame”.
8. RATSIZE (The State Of The Art Is On Fire, 1995)
Produced by Sympathy For The Record Industry founder Long Gone John, the densely-layered Ratsize hints at the scope and depth which the band would explore fully on Scream, Dracula, Scream! which would follow that year.
7. GUILT FREE (Hot Charity, 1995)
Taken from the band's flawless Hot Charity album – self-released on vinyl under the fictitious Perfect Sound label as part of their agreement with Interscope – Guilt Free sees their songwriting kick up several gears and realise their horn section's full potential. Stirring stuff.
6. LORNA DOOM (Hot Charity, 1995)
This track – named after the Germs’ bassist – opens with with Speedo singing ‘The kids won’t carry your coffin, that's alright and that's okay, they don't care what you look like, who you see, what you say’ over handclaps, shortly before his and Andy ‘ND’ Stamets' guitars come crashing in and dictate the pace of this 2:20 second white hot punk blast.