I had the opportunity to hear the three-piece, East L.A. Psychobilly band, The Rocketz, play live this past weekend. Buying their most recent album Rise of the Undead was top priority by the end of the night. Their live energy transfers well to their album.
Rise of the Undead is a rare album that starts strong and continues until the album is over. The attitude of the music is a dark 50's rock that would not be out of place at a swing competition. What creates that swing sound is the implementation of the standup bass, light, fast drum work and roaring guitar riffs. The guitar and bass riffs on this album are insane, which can only truly be appreciated by seeing them live. Though the music is in your face, it does not overpower the lyrics in any way.
This album balances morbid and upbeat perfectly. Each new track keeps pace with the last without sounding repetitive. The lyrical content covers all kinds of morbidity, from zombies to girlfriend issues to police problems, while maintaining a happy back beat. The top tracks from this album are "Die Zombie Die," a song about a zombie that just won't die (or a metaphor for that ex that won't leave you alone), "Mad Mad Dad," an upbeat song about being a mad dad over the actions of your kids, and "Rise of the Undead," the titular track that tells an absolutely heart-pounding tale of the dead brought back to life. My personal favorite, however, was "Killing," a song sung from the perspective of a punk zombie going to town and eating flesh.
Overall, this album is solid from beginning to end, from the lyrics to the pacing and tone of the music. To buy the album, go to iTunes or catch them live by checking their schedule at www.therocketz.com.