Rocket Science Rocket Science

The first time I encountered Rocket Science bassist Rob Higgins was right after he joined Change Of Heart, in what would be that band's final line-up. There was word going around that he was following in his uncle Geddy Lee's footsteps, which became clear upon hearing him play. To Higgins' credit, he never played up the connection - it wouldn't have mattered in alt-rock circles anyway - but now with Rich Faima in place of Sir Ian, Rocket Science has finally answered the question of what a Rush/Change Of Heart alliance would have sounded like. That may be over-simplifying things, but it's undeniable that Lee's production of this debut five-song EP puts the band on solid prog-punk ground, although it's also clear that if a major-label ever got a hold of them, they'd probably want to turn Rocket Science into the next I Mother Earth. For now, though, it's easy for anyone who enjoyed the exuberant complexity of CoH's swan song, Steel Teeth, to get off on "Atom Smasher" and "Electric Boogie Mouth." Lee's penchant for synths has also finally pushed Bernard Maiezza up in the mix, and he's never sounded more at home than on the industrial-tinged "Space Suit" and "Control." Although so far Rocket Science sorely lacks the soul Ian Blurton embodied in CoH and now in Blurtonia, this EP ultimately succeeds in leaving the curious wanting more. (Independent)