Rescue 201 – Rumor Mill

Rescue 201
Rumor Mill

If Rescue 201 had been around doing what they are doing now in the mid 70s, they would be well remembered. Seeing as how none of the members in the band (with ages ranging from 16 to 19) were even born yet when bands like the Germs were solidifying their place as punk myths, this isn’t really a viable option. My quip isn’t that Rescue 201 are unhip – who gives a fuck so long as they make good music. The problem is that their performances are so much like those of their influences, that as good as they are, the band can’t help but sound stale.

At times, the dual vocal delivery of Vanessa and Pat are able to transcend the moribund genre – or a crazed guitar run by Elias will grab your attention – like a clever turn of phrase in a Western or romance novel. None the less, such moments are fleeting and the overall listening experience leaves you with the impression that playing punk rock is as formulaic as operating an elevator. Its as if the band found a technical manual that described in detail, a step-by-step process for becoming a “punk” band. This is really disappointing as Rescue 201 exhibits sincere emotions as well as intelligent lyrics. There is a lot of talent here, but it is mostly spent on recreating a 30-year-old fashion rather than on digging deep to find a musical voice of their own. Then again, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and Coltrane didn’t start out playing multiphonic sheets of sound. “Rumor Mill” is not unpleasant to listen to, really – what is painful about it is that the individuals comprising the band are not mediocre artists per se – yet they appear to be trapped, speaking with a voice that is not their own.