Classic second album from San Diego firebrands
With hindsight, the Rocket’s choreographed, anthemic garage punk peaked six years too early. Had they arrived in 2002, slicked-back and uniformed, chances are they would’ve stolen The Hives’thunder. Rock’n’roll may have caught up in the interim, but 1992’s Circa: Now! remains ferociously potent. An inventive mix of grinding riffs, rabble-rousing choruses and Stax horn charts, it still sounds tremendous?like Dexys Midnight Runners schooled in US hardcore, loosely. A punchy new mix, four good bonus tracks and sleevenotes by Rocket kingpin John “Speedo” Reis complete the package: Reis’ tale of recording in LA during the riots explains, in part, the album’s vivid, fervid atmosphere.