Tommy and the Rockets — Beer and Fun and Rock 'n' Roll
(Bandcamp no#, 2016, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2016-05-23
This collecton of ten songs is just like you probably imagine it from the title. The spirit of endless youth collides with a 60s perpetual summer vacation, songs that are to-the-point and loaded with brilliant hooks, memorable melodies, and lyrics that capture that moment of adolescence that came fast and too quickly gave way to the encroachment of more serious matters of adulthood. But it was a great moment while it lasted, and at that instant in time it seemed like it would last forever. Tommy and the Rockets is the songwriting collaboration of Danish multi-instrumentalist Thomas Stubgaard (all lead and harmony vocals, guitars, and bass) and Michael Chaney, co-songwriter and producer of The New Trocaderos. Joining Stubgaard are New Trocaderos drummer Brad Marino and keyboardist Kris Rodgers to round out the band. These songs pack a wallop of power into a compact two to three-and-a-half minute running time, each kicking ass from the very first note to the final measure. The most evident influence throughout is the kind of early-60s surf and pre-psych garage rock that recalls the great Jan & Dean and fast-paced work of the Beach Boys (before they started taking themselves too seriously) with nods to Buddy Holly, 70s rock ‘n’ rollers like Nick Lowe, Dave Edmunds, and of course The Ramones (the latter particularly evident on the opening title track). Any of the great tracks here like “You Want Me But I Don’t Want You,” “Silly Teenage Love,” “Here Comes Summer,” “Mommy’s Little Girl,” and “What Am I S’pose to Do” could have easily topped the AM charts back in ‘65. All taken, this is a fun trip back to a time of youth and innocence in the wayback machine.
Related artist(s): Tommy and the Rockets
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