Tiny Rockets: Live at the Sunflower Lounge
We've played these guys a couple of times on the show and their mix of rock, synth and pure energy had piqued my interest a while back. The fact that they were a local band for me was an added bonus but I didn't expect a tweet from the drummer Dean asking me to come down and see them play, how could I resist? It's been a few weeks since I saw them play but I have finally got chance to write a few words.
Off I went with a buddy of mine down to the newly refurbished Sunflower Lounge in Birmingham, a favourite haunt of ours over the years which used to play some excellent tunes. The downstairs room is a tiny and intimate place but with the right performance it is a wonderful little venue. The first thing that hit me was that Tiny Rockets provide a punch that is anything but tiny, for a three piece without a set vocalist or lead guitar they really do have a full and vibrant sound.
In this venue a powerful singer can often be wasted with the noise confined to such a small space but the Tiny Rockets levels were perfect. The drums were always driving the music forwards with a pace an complexity which Dean made look easy, as a fellow drummer I have got to say I was impressed. Layered over the top of the drums is a complex weave of electronics and synth key guitar which manages to fill almost all of the gaps left by a lack of more conventional instruments. Let's not forget the bass guitar or rather just the guitar in this case, yes it took a few glances to see that the killer fuzz was being generated not by a bass but by a regular six string guitar.
It's not just the band as musicians who impress, with songs like the infectious "IKON4" and "REDUCE" these boys certainly have some great material to back up their unique set up. Both of these songs have a robotic twang to them, in fact the vocals on the latter sounds like a transformer from the more recent Michael Bay movies. I can't shift the image of an angst Starscream getting his frustrations out through the medium of song. That's what Tony Rockets music does to you, each song does have a unique feel to it and gets the imagination going, almost like a series of short stories you get to see at a fixed point in time. I especially loved the eerie almost twilight zone style riff in "SKREAM", it has been stuck in my head for a while now and I couldn't shift it even if I wanted to.
Talking to Dean afterwards there was a lot I could relate to in how this project came about, when you've played for years with various people who have different personalities and egos then there is something to be said about the simplicity and reliability of computer generated effects. I can't wait to hear more from these guys going forward and I don't think we will have to wait long with a new recording on the horizon. If you get chance to go and see them, you'll love their sonic sound!