What Is This That Stands Before Me?
This record is the result of a gang of New York City musician friends getting together on a sunny sunday in May 2006 at Peter Karl's Recording studio in Brooklyn with the intent of recording a few spontaneous renditions of their favorite Black Sabbath tunes and to have a ball. Rocket Engine did it's first gig at a dive bar in Chinatown on Manhattan after Eivind Opsvik was contacted by said club about doing a midnight show. Eivind had at this period rediscovered Black Sabbath (in his early teens his cousin lent him Black Sabbath's Master of Reality on vinyl and it made a lingering impression) and he thought it would be fun to get some friends together and play these tunes, and fun it was. Although the gig had an audience of four and ended with the sound guy saying "I think that's enough guys" it was agreed that an reprise performance was a lovely thought, so almost a year later a studio date was booked. Rocket Engine consists of some of NYC's most adventurous young musicians from the free improvisation, indie rock and jazz scenes. Rocket Engine's members come from such other bands as Dynamite Club, Antibalas, Opsvik & Jennings, The Monkees, Fat Mama, Beyondo and The UP. In a way this band represents the missing link between early heavy metal and free jazz. What Rocket Engine connect with in Black Sabbath's early music is the fact that it's very honest and direct music, something it has in common with early free jazz/impro before it got weighed down by "rules" and pretense. (Albert Ayler and Ozzy Osbourne - kindred spirits?). So the result is free spirited and spontaneous versions of these beloved classics. Eric Biondo - vocals, trumpet, casio synth Mike Pride - vocals, drums, hammond B3, casio synth Jonathan Goldberger - guitar Aaron Jennings - guitar Eivind Opsvik - bass, lap steel guitar, drums, theremin Jeff Davis - drums, hammond B3 Ben Gerstein - trombone Kris Davis - hammond B3 Recorded on Sunday May 7, 2006 at Peter Karl Studios in Brooklyn, New York Recording Engineer: Peter Karl Never Say Die recorded at the e-room by Eivind Opsvik Produced and Mixed by Eivind Opsvik.