Storytellers & Artists: Chris Legg, Chris Ward, Chris Campagnano, Ray Pagliarini
Year: (c) 2023
Notes: Rocket West was a post-punk/emo trio (Chris Ward, Chris Campagnano, Ray Pagliarini) that released a self-titled demo and started playing around New Haven for almost two years when Chris Legg joined. With him on board, Rocket West self-released two EP's, The Worst Kid (2002, Recorded by Scott Amore) and How To Find Your Direction Without a Compass (2003, EP artwork by Todd Rogers), the latter of which featured more of Legg's singing and songwriting. Rocket West briefly toured the East Coast before breaking up in 2004.
Notes on 'The Worst Kid' from Amazon (expand to read)
What is on the surface can often be deceptive, and rocket west's 6 song EP "The Worst Kid" is an example of this. At first listen, the somewhat fragmented pop-punk/emo sound hides darker intentions. Traditional verse-chorus-verse song structures are thrown out, and lyrics that speak of love, friendships, and substance abuse are at the same time cynical and sincere.
"A bit darker than your average bouncy band, this is what punk sounds like when it grows up." -- MikeSOS, 316productions, May 15, 2002
"This perfectly mixed EP is poppy enough to be commercial and raw enough to be interesting." -- Christopher Arnott, The New Haven Advocate, July 25, 2002
About the Artist:
Guitarist Chris Legg of Rocket West has been known to say, "I'm more of an applesauce handler. I handle and instruct applesauce at apartment parties." This sums up absolutely nothing about Rocket West. But in its own way, it also speaks volumes. With the recent addition of Legg, formerly of Boston punk rockers Fastbreak and New Haven popstars Model Chaser, Rocket West has morphed into a band of stark contrasts. They are a band that "walks a fine line"* between the "earnest indie/alt-rock"* originally penned by the more introverted founding members Chris Ward, Sleepy Chris, and Ray, and the "schoolboy-from-outer-space schtick"* of Chris Legg. The interplay between frontman Ward's pensive, lost-in-his-own-world demeanor and Legg's extroversion has begun to draw rapt attention from audiences at Rocket West's live shows. Stage presence aside, Rocket West's music is at heart punk-fueled rock in the vein of the Foo Fighters and Jimmy Eat World. In addition, influences from more progressive bands ranging from Tool to Burning Airlines are sometimes apparent, as the band strives to play songs with pop appeal that nonetheless bend the rules of what a pop song is supposed to be. "A bit darker than your average bouncy band, this is what punk sounds like when it grows up."** Rocket West has been playing shows since August of 2001 in their home state of Connecticut, as well as in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New York. They have showcased their live sound with bands ranging from The Liars to Radio 4 to The Reunion Show, and have been played regularly on New Haven station 88.7 WNHU. The members of Rocket West are independently releasing a six song EP titled "The Worst Kid", and plan on touring regionally in support of this release.
*The New Haven Advocate
**Mike SOS, 316productions.com