Sonny Vincent / Rocket from the Crypt

Vintage Piss

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In 2003, John Reis of Rocket from the Crypt released a collection of Sonny Vincent's work with the primal New York punk band the Testors on his Swami Records label, and Vincent tagged along with Rocket from the Crypt for a tour celebrating the release, with Rocket serving as Vincent's backing band. All parties concerned were happy enough with the Vincent/RFTC partnership that Reis and Vincent arranged to go into the studio to cut an album, with Vincent writing a batch of new songs on the spot. A variety of economic and practical obstacles put the album on ice (though rough mixes surfaced on a couple of European collections), but 12 years later Reis finally gave the album a proper mixing and mastering, and the finished product has been released under the title Vintage Piss. Judging from these 13 songs, Vincent and RFTC were a strong and seriously combustible combination; though the band's trademark horn section wasn't on hand for these sessions, guitarist Speedo (aka Reis), bassist N.D. (aka Andy Stamets), and drummer Mario Rubalcaba are a lean, furious rhythm section here, muscular enough to push the songs hard without drowning out Vincent's jagged lead guitar and insistent, wiry vocals. Vincent is one of the true unsung heroes of American punk's first graduating class, and there's enough power and attitude in his recordings that you'd be hard-pressed to imagine they came more than two decades after the Testors called it quits; this is raw, ranting rock & roll full of energy, and while it's a shame it took well over a decade for these sessions to finally get a proper release, Vintage Piss shows it was worth the wait, and fans of either act will find this to be a very welcome boot to the head.

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