I have watched precisely two things on Netflix. “The Dirt” (the book is way better, read that instead) and “Bruce Springsteen: Live On Broadway”. The latter is brilliant, The Boss – the greatest singer/songwriter of them all – laying himself bare and stripping down his greatest work.

For all that, though, nothing in the world can beat Springsteen live. With the E. St Band. The best live rock n roll band in the world.

That pure, unbridled joy of seeing the heart-stopping, pants-dropping, hard-rocking, booty-shaking, love-making, earth-quaking, Viagra-taking, justifying, death-defying, legendary E Street Band.

And yet.

“Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)” is the cause of many an argument between me and one of my oldest and very best friends.

And why?

Because he’s seen them play it live, and every time I’ve seen them, they haven’t. And the damn thing is my favourite Springsteen song (his is Badlands, you know, the one they play every blinking time!)

But, I do have one up on him. I’ve had a review copy of this EP for ages and, ladies and gents, I am here to tell you, The Gotham Rockets are the best thing you haven’t heard of yet.

Because “Blast Off” contains four songs that basically distil everything that is ace about rock n roll to the absolute bare bones.

It’s like this. If The Sonics jammed on some New York Dolls songs with Bruce and the Boys and maybe they stuck the fire and brimstone Barrence Whitfield type frontman in too, then you are somewhere close to how good this is.

“Bad With Girls” has the audacity to start with a sax solo, dangnamit, and the first line “here I am, getting into trouble again” and with the 50s style backing vocals it could be on the Grease soundtrack. It belongs to another time, it belongs to the ages, it belongs to right now.

This timeless style continues. The Big Man himself would be proud of the Sax on “What’s Done Is Done” and you want to talk catchy? Then talk this.

Incredibly, that isn’t even the best thing here. That honour belongs to “Rip This Night” which ends a punky, primal edge, and still sounds like you could take it home to meet your mum, so wholesome is the fun here.

The last of these quartet, “Nothing But A Man” rhymes “phoney” with “testimony” as well as sounding like “Have Love, Will Travel” re-worked, speeded up and flexing its muscles.

“Blast Off” is 13 minutes of the aural equivalent of a glitter cannon shooting Skittles (the sweet, not the bowling kind) all over the place. Rock n roll should be about eternal youth, and this ain’t growing up. And it ain’t growing up until the Light Of Day. As Bruce might have said.

Rating 9.5/10


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