Rocket 808 (12XU)
Reviewed by Tim Stegall, Fri., Nov. 29, 2019
"Rocket 88" is Ike Turner's contribution to the birth of rock & roll. Then there's the Roland TR-808 Rhythm Composer, the first programmable drum machine that wound up driving Eighties albums from Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing" to all manner of early hip-hop classics. Once you dig the etymology of local garage genius John Schooley's latest brainstorm, his intentions become apparent: lo-fi/high-atmosphere technobilly, with primitive rhythm generator patterns backing Link Wray/Duane Eddy guitar slashing. It's been done before, but not in this decade. (Reference early solo works by Suicide singer Alan Vega like Collision Drive, Wray's brief experiment with digital drums, or even mega-cheesy synth-punks Sigue Sigue Sputnik!) Schooley makes the connection blatant on a cover of Suicide's "Ghost Rider," with the Sun Records-isms cranked up high. For the most part, the trash auteur stays silent, letting his tube-amped hollow-body guitar do the talking. Rocket 808: twang-n-roll for Blade Runner fans.