Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Rocket Rockers “Better Season” review

This is the review of the newest album of one of my most favorite band, Rocket Rockers. This new album is titled Better Season. I bought this album straight in Reach & Rich Records (the label) in Jl. Muararajen Baru 2 No.18 Bandung, which I got the info on their MySpace page here. This CD album is very cheap compare to other CD’s sold (independent or major band CD’s), which cost only Rp25.000.

The packaging

As I bought the album, I met Mrs. Tia, the one who is written on Rocket Rockers MySpace blog, with the other people working with hectic scene. They targeted to sell the first 1000 copies of the CD to the local clothing distribution that if a person bought something more than several Rupiahs in the clothing store, they could have the CD for free.

I firstly had something in my mind about their first 1000 copies. They should added merchandise in it. So I asked one of the guy, who also in busy there for the availability of stickers. But actually, they haven’t produced it. So, I thought I would get the same thing as I bought the CD’s on major store, with straight from the label house without getting extra things.

But apparently I was wrong. I opened the plastic wrap of the CD, and open up the CD case to get the surprise what’s inside. As I opened the case, something dropped down. I argued “This mustn’t be a sticker.” I founded the booklet list of Rocket Rockers Ring Back Tone (RBT). I thought it was a surprise thing that came with the CD. Inside the case, I looked up to the picture of the CD that camouflage with the case, which is very precise and cool.

Well again, I thought that, “This is it. I bought the earliest copy of the CD straight from the record label without getting any extras.” But my thought was vanish after I took out the CD from the case.

Yes, signatures! I saw signatures from each members of the band! But then, I curious that is just being template and printed out right on the sleeve, because the signs seems very tidy. But I biased it with light, and I saw glows from the signs that show that they are originally written by hand. Looks like their first 1000 copies of “Better Season” will be added special signature form each member of the bands. So, go get them now before it sold out! It’s very cool, and I was truly surprised with it!

The sleeve cover

As CD lovers, I like the cover of the CD which represents the title “Better Season”. The model (which I’m sure it’s Ucay) did “Superman style” jumped with power in the empty savanna with a clear sky background. It wasn’t too futuristic, but more fotoristic. :) Which is means more natural. It’s like a person who is being down with all the problems in the whole season, and then walked away to the savanna with optimistic mind and then he blew it away by jumping and screaming “I want a better season!” that changed his mind set. It’s just that simple.

The songs

“Better Season” came with total 14 songs, which the 12 songs are the songs that I already get the copy from my friend (I’m truly sorry about this, but I tried to be honest). It’s just because I’m a fan, not a pirates. But as Rocket Rockers said, it was all haven’t been premastered. It’s truly worth buying the CD with all the artistic. :)

1. Hidup Kita Adalah Film Terbaik Sepanjang Masa

Guitar with flanger at first and classical vocal layered the song. Looks like the lyrics of this song inspired by the story about Ucay’s personal experience as an actor in College Theater. Because I read Rocket Rockers interview in Ripple Magazine that Ucay had several act in College Theater (which I wouldn’t tell it because it’s so pitty. :) )

2. Episode Ini

Have an important message to document our everyday’s life. This song really represents my daily routine to work on blog. This song is very fit who has hobbies like doing writing, music, photography, recording, and any type of documenting activities. Because documentation is very beneficial to us to record scenes in our lifetime that would create history as time goes by that could we use to do introspection

3. Simbol Hati

This song tells us to refresh our mind about problems that we face. This song is truly representing pop punk with Rocket Rockers taste from their first and second album.

4. Hari Untukmu

Hey, my statement above about the sleeve cover actually fits with this song! This song tells us to be more optimistic and easy to be singing along. This song is the one of the most well known song before the album released originally because Rocket Rockers has been playing this songs several times at heir live shows. This is one the key track on the album.

5. Akhiri Sepi

This is one of my favorite songs before the album is released. :) Aska layered the guitar melody very catchy in this song. You could feel Rocket Rockers characteristic of music in this song.

6. Aku Bosan Menjadi Pecundang

This song told a story about a person who is being used by his girlfriend without any respect! Yes, this is the most emotional song of the record, covered with catchy pop punk tunes.

7. Ingin Hilang Ingatan

I saw Rocket Rockers performed in SMAN 1 Bandung art show and told that this song is about drug user who has been quit, but the person still being pursued by his/her friend to do it once more. The song told them to step off and get away from his life, as it stated “Ingin Hilang Ingatan”.

8. Membaca Tanpa Mata

This is the song that I haven’t got the copy of it yet. :) So it’s a surprise for me. I already recognize the title of this song in Ripple Magazine soundtrack in the editorial, as it stills a demo. When I first read the title, I guessed this song is about blind people facing their life that inspired by the existence of Wiyata Guna Blind Care Foundation in Bandung. But actually, it was wrong after I listened to it.

It had the first part of early post-hardcore tunes continued by “Here’s Your Letter” Blink-182’s tempo. This song is inspired by the victims of disasters that occurred in our country such as tsunami in Aceh, or earthquake in Pangandaran and trying to believe that all of the tragedies were just a bad dream. You would also find a reggae part in this song. Unique!

9. Your Fashion Costumed by Intellect Orthodox

You would find taste of Full of Hate’s old school hardcore mixed with Rocket Rockers pop tunes in this song. Rocket Rockers is trying to write about politics to the immorality leaders in this song as one of the roots of punk rock music. This is the shortest song in the album and the coolest Rocket Rockers’ t-shirt has ever made. :)

10. I Miss You

“Don’t waste your time on me your already the voice inside my head.” No, the lyrics are not like that. :) This song is about the lost hope of distance love. But, I don’t know the meaning of “A L” in the lyrics. Does it AL a.k.a. Ucay?

11. Tunggu Apalagi

This song has a catchy opening with synthesizer layer. The song told us to “Stop staring at your messages. Just wake up and go get her!”

12. Jangan Berakhir

This song describes a romantic scene between a couple which they hope that it wills never ending. In the other hand, they would probably often use this song as a closer song of their life performance, because it still fits with it.

13. Terobsesi

Terobsesi is the most hype song in this album. Synthesizer really makes melodic punk songs to be more fascinating. The chemistry has created bands that use it like The Get up Kids, Disconnected, Motion City Soundtrack, and Pee Wee Gaskins to be cool and famous. No wonder that this song is the song that is being promoted to be broadcast to radio stations all over Indonesia.

14. Better Season

This is the last song which is the English version of “Hari Untukmu”. The lyrics are doesn’t exist in the sleeve, as you can capture it by yourself. The song closes the album with optimistic spirit of better season.

Behind the album

If you look closer to this album, the album is finished by well known people in local music scene which are:

1st is Ridhan, the manager, which also the manager of band Seurieus. He’s proven to be a smart manager that could “survive” Rocket Rockers from “out of date” material in the album which has been lacked on the internet, by promoting the new song “Terobsesi” from FM radio dial and pre-release of Ring Back Tone (RBT) before the album came out.

2nd is Bintang 41 Studio Bandung, which is the studio that is being used by Rocket Rockers from their first album and plenty of other great independent bands like Pure Saturday, Forgotten, Superman Is Dead, and Burgerkill.

3rd is Hok Laij from Musica Studio who mastered the album greatly to “recreate” Better Season to be like an adequate album. He’s also known as the producer of band Peterpan.

4th is db as the photographer who photo the band members in the “nowhere forest”. He’s well known in photographing the moments of local independent events which can be seen in Ripple Magazine and photographing another band member’s album such has Pure Saturday and Sendal Jepit. His arts can be seen in

Album’s unique

1. Rocket Rockers not again giving thanks to all independent bands, clothing, and media in Indonesia, as they did in their first and second album. This time they generally stated “Semua yang sudah membangun subkultur di negeri ini menjadi besar, beragam, positif, pintar, dan inspiratif.”

2. The statement “Seluruh suara vocal di album ini tidak menggunakan fasilitas Auto Tune” (“All the vocals in this album doesn’t use any Auto Tune”) remembering me about Siksa Kubur’s album “Eye Cry” which is written on the album, “All the drum tracks in this album doesn’t use any metronome.” :)

The conclusion

Rocket Rockers showing more various color of their characteristic of catchy melodic pop punk music and they made to mixed new things like post-hardcore or new wave influences in some parts of the song greatly. The songs have more specific contents, easy listening, and slower than the last 2 albums. Ucay and Aska cover the vocal in all the song (which was written in, which is true). The mixing and mastering are awesome and totally different quality by the unauthorized mp3’s that has been lacked. There are a lot of great and well known people in independent music scene behind this album.

Finally, I recommended you to buy and listen to this album for sure!


precious geek said...

what a great review... so great that the URL of ur page here is stick to RR myspce blog. guess, they really love it man. same as I do...

nice. really nice....

p.s.: i got the cd too, and just wonderin they have to signed 1000 cds and also did the foldings by themselves... (though they helped by the crew for the folding, im sure). RR is such a great band to admire, dont u think so?

Tri Handoyo said...

Thanks Sasa!

Well, the thing that I like about Rocket Rockers is that they bring pop punk with positive point of view.

You also do great job with your blog that reviews local independent bands.

Keep documenting!