Ruzicka Records – 08 Apr 2022
Minneapolis duo delivers the goods on their second LP.
Other than House of Freaks, a Richmond pair active for about a decade starting in the mid ‘80s, I have never particularly been a fan of the two piece band. New Rocket Union have me seriously questioning that position. Twin Cities Breakdown is the second full length from the Minneapolis duo and, like their self-titled debut, it absolutely rips. The guitar hooks are big and raunchy enough to fill up a lot of space. Plus, the drums are allowed to be huge in the mix. You really don’t miss the instruments that aren’t there.
In the end, the size of the band is far less important than the quality of the songs. New Rocket Union have great songs. Twin Cities Breakdown is punk, garage and rock and roll that’s as catchy as The Clap. It’s actually hard to pick favorites. Side one opener “Wait’n For You” sets the bar high. “Outta Sight” is a next level ‘50s style rave up. That leads to “Outta Mind”, which is probably my personal favorite. It references both Richard Hell and the Germs in the first couple of lines. An inspired cover of The Kids’ “Do You Wanna Know” closes the first half.
The title track starts side two with a bang. “Piece of the Action”, “Dirty Little Lies” and “Bad Luck Charm” follow, and all are great. It’s classic rock and roll stuff. There’s lots of boy meets girl, and boy loses girl action. Record closer “Dream” mellows things out a bit, and is really a revved up ballad. There isn’t a bad track on Twin Cities Breakdown. With 11 songs in just over 23 minutes, it’s all killer no filler. I’ll take New Rocket Union over The White Stripes or The Black Keys any day. That said, NRU has a broad enough appeal that fans of those bands should dig them too.
For vinyl fiends: Twin Cities Breakdown is a great looking record. The cover art is a bit over the top conceptually, but its execution and eye popping color more than make up for it. It’s in the style of those early ‘80s hotrod caricatures, and they manage to incorporate the legendary First Avenue and 7th Street Entrance into the Minneapolis cityscape too. The record is 45 RPM and on whimsical “Orange Crush” vinyl.
Part-time punk writer, suburban dad and angry old man. Follow my adventures on the Punk Till I Die podcast!