Nothing did more to further the cause of Alternative Nation-building than 120 Minutes, MTV’s Sunday-night video showcase of non-mainstream acts. For nearly two decades, the program spanned musical eras from ’80s college rock to ’00s indie, with grunge, Britpop, punk, industrial, electronica and more in between. MAGNET raids the vaults to resurrect our 120 favorite and unjustly forgotten videos from the show’s classic era.
#73: Rocket From The Crypt “On A Rope”
Perhaps more than any other band in the post-Nirvana alt-rock mid-’90s, Rocket From The Crypt felt like a fad. (Well, maybe not more so than Frente! or Crash Test Dummies, but right up there.) All the signs were present: the hyping of a hot new scene in San Diego (consisting of related outfit Drive Like Jehu and … who else, exactly?), RFTC’s rockabilly/sci-fi image (guys in the band were nicknamed Atom, Speedo, Apollo 9, JC 2000, etc.) and the disturbing, then-new trend of fans getting tattoos of the band’s logo. Turns out that Rocket From The Crypt and bandleader John “Speedo” Reis will outlive us all and party on our cynical graves. “On A Rope” is from 1995’s major-label debut Scream, Dracula, Scream!, the band’s commercial peak; in truth, the group remained razor-sharp right on through its final album, 2002’s blistering Live From Camp X-Ray. In the afterlife of Rocket From The Crypt, Reis has attained some sort of rock ‘n’ roll godhead status; he’s lent a golden touch to subsequent endeavors such as Back Off Cupids, Hot Snakes and the Night Marchers.