Rocket first formed in 2021, convening in an unmarked 8’ x 11’ practice space in Los Angeles, California. You wouldn’t know it walking past, but inside was the beginning of something special. The four members of the band, Alithea Tuttle (Bass, Vocals), Baron Rinzler (Guitar), Cooper Ladomade (Drums) and Desi Scaglione (Guitar) have all known each other for a very long time, a few attending preschool together, and the full quartet connecting during highschool. Having all grown up in Los Angeles, they were exposed to the city’s musical influences at a very young age, attending shows, frequenting record stores, and slowly becoming embedded in the sprawling DIY scene.
Before there was Rocket there was Desi and Alithea writing music in their room to pass the time during the lockdown of 2020. A large handful of demos were written with a huge sound in mind, but only so much noise could be made in a one bedroom apartment. It was only logical that they’d soon enlist Cooper and Baron to join those early writing sessions, and officially form the band. “We spend pretty much every day together, so being in a band wasn’t even a question,” they explain. The group scraped together what money they had and rented the cheapest lockout space they could find, rehearsing religiously for months until their first show.
That show was an outstanding success, and quickly led to shows opening for Bar Italia, Pretty Sick, Hello Mary and more. Then it was time to settle in and start the recording process for what would become their first EP. Having moved out of their shoebox lockout and into Cooper’s parents back house, the group finally had the space they needed to create the sound they wanted. In an incredibly fortunate series of events, they came into possession of a 1970’s Yamaha PM-1000 recording console that was donated to their elementary school. With their “new” gear, the band began the process of self-recording, producing and engineering the songs they’d been writing. “We really try to not overthink things and be something we’re not,” they explain, “this EP is born out of trying to be as true to ourselves as possible.”
Opener “On Your Heels” encapsulates their sound, pitting jagged guitars against intoxicating vocal melodies, the stripped back verses building tension to the euphoric chorus before breaking down into hardcore-indebted riffs. “Portrait Show” takes their loud/quiet dynamics and perfects the approach, a la Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr. updated for Gen Z. The song “focuses on different versions of myself,” shares Alithea, “while songs like “Normal to Me” and “On Your Heels” have more of an emphasis on the different versions of people that they show you.”
Versions of You is a time capsule, a document of the turbulent transition from one’s late teens into their early twenties during one of the most uncertain times to be alive. Despite their youth, there’s a confidence and strength of vision across these 7 songs that is rare to find in a debut. Just listen to the roar of the My Bloody Valentine guitars on “Sugarcoated,” a song they explain “feels nostalgic to us, like it’s always existed.” A friendship like theirs is one in a million, but a chemistry that yields music like this is something you hold onto, and Rocket are just getting started.