18 Nov 2013

Louder than War review 'Crystallized – Celebrating 15 Years of Rocket Recordings'

Brett Savage from Louder than War (and Dead Sea Apes I might add) have written a humbling review of our forthcoming 15th Anniversary compilation album:

Various Artists – Crystallized (Rocket Recordings)

"Louder Than War’s Brett Savage reviews arguably the years most essential compilation album, 12 tracks that give you “a glimpse into the past, present and future of one of the UK’s most vital labels”, Rocket Recordings, home, amongst others, of the phenomenal Goat.

Many people bemoan the death of the independent spirit. The very term ‘indie’ is in itself a contested space. Does ‘indie’ even mean independent any more? Many ‘indie labels’ are in fact sponsored clearing houses created by major labels to capitalise on a bit of ‘cool’. All independent scenes are a case of necessity being the mother of invention, as the more maverick musical spirits realised that major labels didn’t see them as a great investment.

Nowadays, the term ‘indie’ pretty much applies to bands slightly left of the AOR spectrum. Has that independent impulse been destroyed by the co-opting of the aesthetic by the majors? Well, no. If anything, there has been a flowering of young labels making their way to the surface in recent times and true to form, it has been those independent entities releasing the most vital music.

Bristol based Rocket Recordings have been toiling away at the coalface of the independent scene for the last 15 years. Although their output can largely be described as ‘psychedelic’, they are not restrained by the traditional definition of the term. Rocket do not deal with tedious revivalist 60s wannabes whose parodical approach to music is a depressing equivalent to Civil War Recreationist Societies (replacing their pikes with Vox Teardrop guitars), rather they have kept their eyes focused sharply on the forward thinking, the innovative and the noisy. They have unerring musical instincts and have an enviable back catalogue which includes releases by their hometown heroes and subsequent ‘cult’ – The Heads. In recent times they have released three indisputable classics: Drop Out by Gnod & White Hills, Your Mercury by Teeth Of The Sea and perhaps the most exciting album of last year – World Music by Goat.

Crystallized represents the jewels in the label’s crown and also gives space to bands that are in line with Rocket’s musical vision…"

Read the rest of the review here: Louder than War