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Rocketship



Though their name might lead you to believe they were a space rock group, Sacramento's Rocketship has actually been one of the brighter stars of the international pop underground in recent years. The group first surfaced around 1993 with a lineup featuring singer/songwriter and guitarist Dustin Reske, bassist Verna Brock (of Holiday Flyer) , keyboardist Heidi Barney, and drummer Jim Rivas. Soon the quartet was charming ears the nation over with their seductive variety of quirky '60s-influenced bedroom pop. What distinguished this group, besides its killer instinct for great melodies, was its incorporation of elements of British shoegazer rock (so maybe that name isn't so inappropriate), especially layers of ringing guitars and swirling, pschedelic organ drone.

After releasing a single on the seminal pop label Bus Stop, in 1996 Rocketship issued an LP on the equally seminal Slumberland Records label, A Certain Smile, A Certain Sadness (by the way, that's the same title as a classic 1966 album by Brazilian bossa nova chanteuse Astrud Gilberto), which secured the group a cult following. That slice of pop genius featured "I Love You Like The Way That I Used To Do," "Let's Go Away," and "I'm Lost Without You." After that record, the original lineup dissolved, with Reske retaining control of the band's name and pushing Rocketship in an increasingly ambient direction, while continuing to demonstrate his thorough mastery of the pop idiom. In '97, Rocketship put out a second single on Bus Stop and the coolly funky All the Pleasures single on Jigsaw Records.

Also available is the heavily dosed, ambient Garden of Delights 12-inch on Michigan-based Drive-In Records and a split seven-inch with Japanese popsters Capsule Giants on Darla Records.