I Got Dem Old Kozmic Blooz Again Mama.

April 12, 2006 at 6:36 am (Uncategorized)

Hey you. Yeah, you.

You like rock and roll? You know what I’m talkin’ about. The real stuff. Guitars turned to 11. Drums and bass in a seamless rhythm section that carries the day with a loose-limbed careen. Maybe some horns. Maybe some Hammond organ. Songs that get into your brain and stay there awhile.

You dig that punk? You wanna talk about the real junk?

Been a long time since I’ve seen a massive case of across-the-board critical “I-don’t-get-it”itis as bad as that which has manifested itself on the sophomore album Where The Grass Grows Black from Bay area rock collective The Society Of Rockets. Maybe it’s because these folks have their roots in a fairly “serious” psych-art group like The Shimmer Kids Underpop Association. Maybe it has something to do with being from the greater San Francisco area that causes critics to take pause and lament things about The Society of Rockets which really aren’t there.

What is there? How about the ass-shakingest hard rock album released so far this year? See, the folks in Society of Rockets inhabit a sort of rock and roll consciousness that understands that “Rocks Off” and “Tumbling Dice” are the two best songs off Exile On Main Street. Yeah, there’s a sort of psychedelic vibe going on here…but with a heavy debt to late Byrdsian country and Janis Joplin skronk. Think about a version of the Black Crowes crossed with Jesus & Mary Chain/Black Rebel Motorcycle Club with better songs and not quite as Rod Stewart-y a lead singer (although damned if Josh Babcock doesn’t do all he can to call down blood and thunder with a fairly limited vocal instrument…and given that limitation, it actually rocks all that much harder.)

You could take my word for it, but I’m susceptible to hype, so instead, how about a clip? Tell me you can get past the first verse and chorus of “Tangerines and Cigarettes” and not be totally on these folks’ side, and I’ll tell you that you just hate rock and roll and that you’re old and you suck. The band also has a MySpace page, where I strongly recommend you listen to the song “Out In The Evening”, the song that follows “Tangerines” on Where The Grass Grows Black.

You could read the lukewarm review from the rock-hating magpie intellects at Pitchfork, but since those tasteless knobs wouldn’t know rock if it walked up and grabbed them by their vintage clothing collars and shook the life out of their pale skinny artschool asses, you’ll have to take my word for it. Where The Grass Grows Black is a tremendous rock and roll record, and absolutely highly recommended.

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