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Hot Charity / Cut and Play

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Album Review

Rocket From the Crypt's '60s-influenced, horn-infused, and caffeine-fueled punk rock onslaught is captured in peak form on this CD reissue of two (previously) vinyl-only EPs. Hot Charity was recorded during a break from the recording of Scream, Dracula, Scream!, when Rocket From the Crypt was growing weary of the constraints of big-budget major-label production, and these nine tunes scream of passion and release. Previously available in a long-gone limited-edition pressing, this wonder of modern science rocks hard with a very sweaty and human sense of swing, and it's no wonder that it's become a much-sought-after collector's item — it ranks with the band's best work, especially "My Arrow's Aim" and "Guilt Free." Recorded not long after Rocket From the Crypt became free agents following their busted relationship with Interscope, Cut Carefully and Play Loud (so named because the original 12" package featured a sticker that glued the disc to its cover) sounds noticeably more fierce; these guys had some bad karma to work off, and there's a wildly liberating snarl in "Waste It" and "Blood Robots." Two great records from one great band in a convenient package for the turntable-deprived — don't tell me this ain't good value for the money!


Formed: 1990 in San Diego, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Pledging to never play a venue with a stage, singer/guitarist John Reis formed San Diego's Rocket from the Crypt in the summer of 1990 after becoming disillusioned with his then-current hardcore punk band, Pitchfork. Bassist Petey X, guitarist N.D., drummer Sean, and backing vocalist Elaina joined the band's initial lineup, and Rocket from the Crypt released Paint as a Fragrance in 1991. While the debut increased the band's profile, a lineup change ensued as Sean and Elaina left the San Diego area....
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