Monday, November 07, 2005

Rubber City Rebels

For many years the Rubber City Rebels were one of those mysterious bands that appeared to be lost for the ages. My only exposure to the band was via covers: Candy Snatchers "Such a Fool" and Jakkpot's "Young & Dumb". After hearing those songs I had to track down something, anything about this band. Luckily, the band was beginning to reissue their old material making the quest pretty easy. Moving on...

The Rebels story is pretty much as follows: Band forms in Akron in the mid-seventies, playing a blend of pop, "punk", and rock. In 1977 they release a split LP with The Bizarros entitled "From Akron". Seeking greener pastures, the core of the band relocates to LA and is snatched up by Capitol Records. TrouserPress sums up the bands impact:

Although Devo, Rachel Sweet, Chrissie Hynde and the Waitresses all fared well on major labels during the new wave era, the Rubber City Rebels proved it was possible to come from Akron, Ohio and still roll into commercial oblivion.

In 1980 Capitol records released The Rubber City Rebel's self-titled LP. 10 tracks, including 4 covers and rewrites of the bands earlier material. Hmmm... Flex isn't kind:

1980: Punk was the big thing and major labels were looking for bands to cash in. Capitol chose Rubber City Rebels; thank god they left no trace. Fake and polished music with no soul

What happened after that, well I'm not sure. The band has reformed and released a new album, 2003's Pierce My Brain. I've heard a couple of tracks and it's decent, which is pretty much my take on the band: Some great cuts, some snoozers, overall decent. Take a listen:

from 1978's split w/ The Bizarros:
Rubber City Rebels - Kidnapped.mp3
Rubber City Rebels - Such A Fool.mp3

From their 1979 7"
Rubber City Rebels - Brainwave.mp3

From their self-titled 1980 LP
Rubber City Rebels - Paper Dolls.mp3
Rubber City Rebels - Young & Dumb.mp3
Rubber City Rebels - Rubber City Rebel.mp3


  • The official Rubber City Rebels site
  • Buy Rubber City Rebels releases
  • as always, Henry Weld's Discography of American Punk is an invaluable tool