Guitar/Baruch Ben Itzach
Rhthym+Vocs./Eli Lulai* (*no longer plays with the band).
Ground: Tel Aviv, Israel.
The most adventurous alterna-band to come from Israel; RockFour started with teeth: their early albums attest a sound that has a dip at the noncommercial side of the r'n'r pool. With soaring Ric semi-acoustic guitars, melisma-intesive bass-drum synchronization that draws from the Paisley Underground sound of mid-60s' bands like The Strawberry Alarm Clock, The Chocolate Watch Band, Moby Grape & Hebrew proggers like The Churchill's, Arik Einstein & Shalom Chanouch to name but a few...RockFour has a radar for authenticity and originality at the same time.
Their music poured balm over the waters of the post-rock scene in Israel that witnessed such great same-taste bands like Jango; being in the tank with them to create music that doesn't speak much as shout from rooftops! The testosterone that was lacking for nearly two decades was brought back to rock music in the mid-90s, injected into the scrotum by the eponymous Hebrew-only album Ha'Iesh Ma'Ra'ait Ha'Kol (The Man Who Saw Everything): 14 tracks of sheer power, throbbing bassline, intelligent lyrics dispersed evenly over near-apocalyptic grooves. You can listen to this album, over and over till you go blue in the logo! It has the same, insane psychedelic mojo of The Pink Floyd's first two albums. A race apart, The Man Who Saw Everything is the best example of pure neo-psychedelia on the 90s/00s beat. (It is no piggie that I'm listening to that album right friggin' now! There're no words to describe it: it's all-that-and-more). Point.
But, alas...that didn't make you anywhere near the Promised Land! The band spilled its first domino when it decided abruptly to switch languages into English, with Eli Lulai's (now disbanded), Lennonesque fraternity-answer voice to the early repertoire. They hit it in 2K with 'Supermarket','One Fantastic Day' a year after and finally 'Nationwide' in 2004 and the antenna went off.
I don't want to sound forward, but if wording survives, the upcoming album is going to be the coprankest of the trio.
We can only wait and watch.
Butterfly Net/Hebrew-only (NMC, 1991)...
"The Man Who Saw It All" (Hed Artzi, 1994)
"Return To The Snail" (Banana, 1996)
Supermarket/English-only (Third Ear, 2000)...
One Fantastic Day (Third Ear, 2001)
Nationwide ( Rainbow Quartz Int., 2004)
RockFour in American press:
-The New York Times:
"Not afraid to wear their influences on their sleeves, the band plays music that recalls early Pink Floyd, glam-era David Bowie and the Beatles, often times all within one song. It's a combination of psychedelic rock and melodic pop that sounds both classic and fresh."
-The Daily News:
"Its sound - warm harmonies and soaring, Roger McGuinn-like 12-string guitar mixed with elements of psychadelic and classic rock..."
-The Los Angeles Times:
"Drawing on the '60s folk-psychedelia of the Byrds (prominently in guitarist Baruch Ben- Izhak's Rickenbacker 12-string licks), the Beatles (a powerful closing version of the Fab Four's "Rain") and the Beach Boys (several echoes of the wistful "Pet Sounds")."