The Rubber City Rebels
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The Rubber City Rebels

Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States | INDIE

Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States | INDIE
Band Rock Punk


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"Reviews of Pierce My Brain"

"The Rebels ... show us how it's done."-Amplifier Magazine
"I simply demand you seek out all Rubber City Rebels material-before there's a factory recall!"-AMP Magazine
"I say: Good band, good production, good packaging. good label. ...GET THIS!" - razorcake
"this is the most important punk release of this year" - americore magazine
"they've lost none of the snot that made them so great back in the day"-Shedding Paper
"definitely have the Ramones' Presidential Seal of Authenticity stamped all over 'em"-Caustic Truth
"Turning out this gem of 12 straight-up punk 'n' roll tunes and touring have given The Rubber City Rebels a second life."-punkplanet
"forget the comeback "angle," this is a fucking great record by a fucking great band."-Jeff Dahl - carbon 14
" a bona fide punk composition of sneering, snotty songs"-Juice
"simply one of the best and most authentic punk rock records in recent memory" - High Bias
"...everything a punk record should be"-Sandiego Punk
" of the best punk albums I've heard in a while."-Utter Trash
" it is so many other 'punk' bands can get it so wrong"-The Plague
"this band is doing everything RIGHT."- babysue
- Various

"Rolling Stone Gives Four Stars"

RS Rating: 4 Stars

What's so bad about being dumb? Like the Ramones before them, Akron's Rubber City Rebels turn know-nothingism into an aesthetic virtue. They may be deliberately outrageous–opening their debut LP with the gleeful, aw-shucks raveup "Somebody's Gonna Get (Their Heads Kicked in Tonight)"–but they're always believable, and that makes them absurdly likable as well. All the more so because they manage to puncture both the addled conceptualism of most of the recent Cleveland-Akron area groups (Devo, Pere Ubu, Tin Huey) and the blue-collar heroics of such heartland rock-crit favorites as the Iron City Houserockers.

Rubber City Rebels was produced by Doug Fieger, but the band's got nothing of the Knack's knowing leer. Instead, they're amiable punk headbangers who embrace the limitations of their music with a kind of determined one-downmanship, sticking to repeated hammered chords and a steady, pounding beat, while Rod Firestone's snarling, wet-cat vocals add a tinge of hysteria. "Child Eaters" sounds like a Japanese monster flick narrated by Johnny Lydon, even as Firestone's cartoonish exuberance makes the beleaguered mother in the song practically spring to life. Indeed, most of the album's more-lampoonish-than-life postures are funny and true: the petulant resolve of the kid who's straining to grow up so he can wallop his brother ("Gonna Be Strong"), the "high school mess" of "Young and Dumb," the bantam-rooster boosterism of "Rubber City Rebels" ("I don't need no ocean/I've got industry"). Rubber City Rebels All this, and a twangy cover version of the Sex Pistols' "No Feelings." It's enough to make you glad the Rubber City Rebels never learned to count past 4/4. (RS 342) DEBRA RAE COHEN - Rolling Stone


"The Rubber City Rebels - The Hollywood Years 1978-80" - 2005 Wizzard In Vinyl Japanese Release
"The Rubber City Rebels - The Akron Years 1977" - 2005 Wizzard In Vinyl Japanese Release
"Young and Dumb/Paper Dolls" - 2007 Mind Control Labs Reissue of 1978 DIY Single
"Pierce My Brain" - CD 2003 Smog Veil
"Pierce My Brain" - CD/12" 2005 Munster Records, Spanish Release
S/T - 1980 Capitol Records
"Bluer Than Blue/Rubber City Rebels" 7" 1980 Capitol Records
"Surprise Surprise/Brainwave" - 7" 1979 Flaming Orange
"LA IN" - 12" 1978 Rhino Records Compilation of LA Bands
"Young and Dumb/Paper Dolls" - 7" 1978 Flaming Orange
"From Akron" - 12" 1977 Clone Records Split w/Bizarros
"Akron Compilation" - 12 inch Vinyl 1977 Stiff Records



The Rubber City Rebels are cult legends from Ohio. Part of the class of '77 that included Devo, The Dead Boys Pere Ubu and others. Musically they align with the other seventies bands that had solid, hard rock roots before transitioning to Punk, New Wave and Power Pop. These bands include the Sex Pistols, The Vibrators, Ramones, The Dead Boys, The Dictators and Radio Birdman. Whereas later punk outfits might claim The Clash as an influence. These bands would more likely cite Alice Cooper, The Stooges, The Flamin' Groovies, AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Blue Cheer and the "Nuggets" one hit wonders like 13th Floor Elevators, The Troggs and The Amboy Dukes.

The Rubber City Rebels, although not as well remembered as many of their colleagues from the era, have an amazing history that continues to play out to this very day. Many of their contemporaries are unfortunately unable to tour at all, much less put on a compelling show. Not so the Rebels. They have toured the US, EU and Japan consistently since 2001, and garnered rave reviews, articles and audience appreciation all over the world. They have also released new product since 2003 that has resulted in a whole new generation of fans. In 2003 the band released a new album of 12 songs on the Smog Veil label. The title track "I Wanna Pierce My Brain" was included on the Tony Hawk Underground soundtrack and was featured in Activision's national television spot for the new game during it's pre christmas ad blitz. That game went on to sell millions of copies and is still a huge franchise for Activision. Another track, "I Don't Wanna Be A Punk No More" from the same album has been in regular rotation and is a favorite on Sirius Radio's Little Steven's Underground Garage since it release, being a favorite of DJ and Dictator's front man Dick Manatoba and a featured "Coolest
Song in the World". You will also regularly hear album tracks of theirs on XM's Faction show.

During the 2005 EU tour in Spain the band was extensibly covered by the national rock press and given their own half hour National TV broadcast on a Spain's version of Austin City Limits. This show is also heavily syndicated in Latin America.

In Japan, two retrospective CD's on the bands career were released in advance of their first Japanese Tour in 2005 - The Akron Years and The Hollywood Years. The Rebels played Tokyo two consecutive nights and Osaka to sellout crowds and rabid fans who somehow were able to sing along with all the songs!

The Rubber City Rebels are more well known to musicians than to the general public. This is evidenced by the many covers that have been released by younger bands. One of the bands that has publicly cited The Rubber City Rebels as an influence is Norway's infamous and hugely successful, Turbonegro. Out of tribute to the Rebels, Turbonegro have lifted a few lyrics and musical ideas from the band. During the Rebels EU tour in 2005, the band was joined on stage by Turbo members Hank, and Happy Tom for a rousing version of The Lewd's "Mobile Home". A cover song that appeared on Turbonegro's Ass Cobra album and was penned by the current Rebel's bass player, Bob Clic.

It’s Everything, And Then It’s Gone
PBS documentary tells the story of "the Akron Sound” of the 1970s

In the early 1970s, rubber was still king in Akron, Ohio. But just a few short years later, Akron’s most important product was, ever so briefly, music. In the mid-1970s, a group of local bands took over an old rubber workers’ hang-out in downtown Akron called The Crypt and created a mix of punk and art rock that came to be known as “the Akron Sound.” And for a while, it was almost “the next big thing.” Almost.

It’s Everything, And Then It’s Gone, a PBS production written and directed by Phil Hoffman takes viewers back to a time when the music really did mean everything. And for the men and women in these local bands, it was a way out of the factory.

“This is the story of those people, many of them children of rubber workers, who rode to the crest of the new wave and what happened to them after the attention turned away from Akron and away from them,” explains Hoffman in the opening of the documentary. Over the course of the hour-long program, Hoffman tells the story of bands like Devo, The Numbers Band, The Bizarros, The Rubber City Rebels, Tin Huey and The Waitresses and their flirtation with rock stardom.

The story of “the Akron Sound” and It’s Everything, And Then It’s Gone really begins in the college bars along Kent’s Water Street in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The rise of Kent-based Joe Walsh to national rock'n'roll fame created the feeling that local bands could “make it big” and inspired a movement of original music in groups like The Numbers Band, Devo, Tin Huey and others.

Many of these bands shifted to the Akron scene when The Rubber City Rebels acquired a bar called The Crypt from its previous owner in the midst of a rubber workers’ strike.

“Out of the misery of one o