Sunday, May 01, 2016

Introducing Tommy and The Rockets!

An annual joy for me is the appearance of the first great summer album of the year. There always seems to be that one release that heralds summer's imminent arrival - our sweet reward from the music gods for surviving another miserable winter. This year that honor unquestionably goes to Beer and Fun and Rock 'n' Roll - the wonderful debut album from Tommy and The Rockets. A collaboration between Danish scene veteran Thomas Stubgaard (The Lingertones, The Hitchcocks) and rock n' roll songwriter extraordinaire Michael Chaney (The New Trocaderos), Tommy and The Rockets kick up an infectious mix of bubblegum, surf, power pop, punk, and good old rock n' roll. Imagine the '64-'65 Beach Boys time traveling to meet The Ramones in 1978 and stepping through a portal to the 21st Century!

Stubgaard, who was born on the very day the first Ramones album was released, was clearly destined to start a band like Tommy and The Rockets. A huge fan of The New Trocaderos, Stubgaard contacted Chaney last year about collaborating on a song. That one song quickly turned into ten, and just like that a new band was born! With additional involvement from Connection/New Trocaderos principles Brad Marino (drums), Geoff Palmer (drum tracking/mixing), and Kris Rodgers (keyboards), Tommy and The Rockets are a veritable supergroup of power poppin' rock n' roll! And their debut album does not disappoint. Laden with harmonies to die for, melodies you'll be whistling all day, and great lyrics celebrating young love and good times, Beer and Fun and Rock 'n' Roll is an album made for sunny days with the windows down in your car. Even with occasional turns to bittersweet subject matter (because sometimes, you know, love will break your heart), this is the feelgood record of the year. Whether you're headed to the beach or just driving to your lousy job, this is an album that will have you singing along, bobbing your head, and feeling generally great about being alive. The hooks never stop!

In addition to playing guitar and bass, Stubgaard handles lead and backing vocals on Beer and Fun and Rock 'n' Roll. He's a formidable talent, and Chaney was the perfect individual to put words to his melodies. Chaney's previous co-writes with Geoff Palmer (like "Dream Girl" and "Like An Angel") have shown him to be a master of the timeless love song, and he captures the same kind of magic with Stubgaard. This is definitely the album for those of us who treasure nothing in life more than a huge stack of rock n' roll records and the love of that one special girl. And given Chaney's undeniable flair for storytelling, it's no surprise that Beer and Fun and Rock 'n' Roll introduces us to a number of memorable characters. What could possibly compel a womanizing rocker to give up his carefree ways? How do you decide which of two twin sisters you should date? What could be the only thing worse than waking up to discover that the gal you just hooked up with has run off with all of your possessions? These are some of life's burning questions, and this album has the answers!

Beer and Fun and Rock 'n' Roll is a shot of sonic sunshine arriving just in time for summer. It's your soundtrack to the glorious days and fun-filled nights that lie ahead! Digital downloads are available now ahead of a CD release coming this month and a LP release scheduled for June. The band is self-releasing the CD, and Ghost Highway Recordings out of Spain is putting out the vinyl. All of the necessary ordering info has been posted at the group's Bandcamp, so check it out and enjoy the tunes!


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