Music: Rocket From the Tombs

What’s the most important Rock & Roll ever to come out of Ohio?A tough question, but a consensus is emerging that it was the Punk/Post Punk created by northeast Ohio bands in the late 1970s/earl

What’s the most important Rock & Roll ever to come out of Ohio?

A tough question, but a consensus is emerging that it was the Punk/Post Punk created by northeast Ohio bands in the late 1970s/early 1980s. Underground at the start, but then finding a foothold at indie (and major) labels, the wildly inventive and idiosyncratic scene proved Punk wasn’t just a British/New York hype. Rather, it was a new, modern and progressive attitude toward Rock that would eventually reach everywhere and change everything. It just happened especially early in Cleveland and nearby Akron.

Today, the northeast Ohio bands who made records — Pere Ubu, Devo, Human Switchboard, Dead Boys, Tin Huey and others, including Akron native Chrissie Hynde, who moved to England and started The Pretenders — are rightly celebrated. But as interest in that era grows, there’s been greater attention paid to the lesser-known acts, including the very first ones.

And with it has come the remarkable resurgence of Rocket From the Tombs, who play at Southgate House on Thursday. This is a historic band reunion, one that comes with classic old material plus a brand-new album, Barfly. It also brings to town two legends of Punk/Post Punk who now play in Rocket — Pere Ubu’s David Thomas and Dead Boys’ Cheetah Chrome. Thomas and Chrome were in the original Rocket (as was another current Rocket, Craig Bell), which lasted for only about a year (1974-1975) in Cleveland and predated the group’s fame and notoriety.

Rocket From the Tombs plays Southgate House Thursday with Buffalo Killers. Go here to read Steven Rosen's full interview with RFTT's David Thomas.

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