Refuel

by Rocket Scientists

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about

ROCKET SCIENTISTS LOOKING FORWARD WITH "REFUEL"
California prog rockers begin their third decade with a new studio masterwork

(El Dorado Hills, California, 18 November 2014) The enduring trio of Erik Norlander (keyboards), Mark McCrite (guitars and vocals) and Don Schiff (Sticks and strings) are delighted to release their 7th studio album, "Refuel." The full-length album combines both vocal and instrumental songs with the band's signature songwriting, performance and production style in 12 unforgettable songs. Refuel also features stellar performances by guest musicians Gregg Bissonette (drums), vocalists Lana Lane, Kelly Keeling and Emily McCrite along with others including the brass players from the band's previous release, Supernatural Highways, and Norlander's Hommage Symphonique album which also featured Schiff and McCrite.

Refuel started in 2012 with the idea of marking the band's 20th anniversary of their 1993 debut release. Producer / keyboardist Erik Norlander notes, "We decided to write some new music at the end of 2012 to celebrate 20 years of Rocket Scientists. We wrote a lot. Too much, in fact, for a single album!" The band released a 30-minute all-instrumental EP, Supernatural Highways, earlier this year which represents the first part of those creative efforts. Refuel contains the balance of those 20-year anniversary recordings and is a more traditional album mixing vocal and instrumental tracks in the style that so identifies the group. A video for "She's Getting Hysterical" will closely follow the Refuel release.

Guitarist / vocalist Mark McCrite takes his craft to new heights on the Refuel album. Says vocalist Lana Lane, "Mark is one of the most musical people I know, and Rocket Scientists wouldn't exist without him. He is always up for the challenge of creating meaningful music and delivers incredible work. The songs he has contributed over the past 20 years to both the Rocket Scientists and Lana Lane catalogs are definitely some of the most memorable."

Keyboardist Erik Norlander turns in another production full of depth and color. Don Schiff comments, "Erik is a never-ending source of master keyboard wizardry. His tones are the best, and his choice of harmony is flawless. As for his keyboard technique, it's the stuff of the timeless legends that we know and love." Norlander's keyboard work especially shines on the instrumental, "Galileo," keeping alive the RS tradition of naming an instrumental track after a famous scientist. Norlander was even persuaded to step out with more vocals to the Refuel effort. Mark McCrite notes, "I'm really excited to have Erik return more prominently as a lead vocalist this time out. This was an important element of our first album, Earthbound, and I'm happy to see it come back!"

Don Schiff performs his usual Stick and bass guitar magic in addition to penning 2 of the album tracks, "Regenerate" and "Reconstruct." He also plays contrabass, cello and viola throughout the record. Norlander comments, "In the few years since the Rocket Scientists Looking Backward project, Don taught himself to play the cello! He had been experimenting with various bowed guitar-like instruments on the Hommage Symphonique album and even on the last 2007 studio recordings like "Earthbound." Those sounded great, but I think Don decided that he needed to learn the real thing … and he did!" Schiff's cello is prominent on the 26-minute opus, "Traveler on the Supernatural Highways," released earlier this year, and the Refuel album takes his string-player role even further on nearly every song.

Guest vocalists on Refuel include symphonic rock chanteuse, Lana Lane, and long-time Norlander collaborator, rock icon, Kelly Keeling. Mark McCrite notes, "It's also great to feature the inimitable Lana Lane. Singing at the same mic with her was one of the highlights of these sessions, and I love that our signature blend is featured as the very first vocals you hear on the record." And Don Schiff adds, "Kelly's vocals embody all the characteristics of legendary vocalists in style, power and control. On top of all that he also is 'Kelly Keeling,' a legendary voice on his own. It's always a great pleasure to hear his artistry." Keeling provides guest vocals to the horn-driven anthem, "Cheshire Cat Smile," and Lane concludes with album with a stirring delivery of the symphonic gem, "The Lost Years."

credits

released November 18, 2014

Mark McCrite - vocals, guitars
Erik Norlander - keyboards, vocals
Don Schiff - NS/Sticks, bass guitars, cello, viola, mandolin

with
Gregg Bissonette - drums
Lana Lane - vocals
Kelly Keeling - vocals
Emily McCrite - vocals
Jon Papenbrook - trumpet
Rich Hofmann - piccolo trumpet
Eric Jorgensen - trombone

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about

Rocket Scientists El Dorado Hills, California

Formed in the late 1980s by keyboardist Erik Norlander and vocalist / guitarist Mark McCrite, the two released their first CD in 1993 joined by bassist Don Schiff who soon became a part of the band. RS has played many festivals and concert dates across North America and Europe and continue to release new music. Memorable songwriting and innovative instrumentation are Rocket Scientists hallmarks ... more

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Track Name: She's Getting Hysterical
SHE’S GETTING HYSTERICAL
by Erik Norlander (c)2014 Waking Dream Music, BMI

She's half asleep with her wild eyed dreams
An early fall, a restless sea
The lights go down on tired eyes
Days go by, it's no surprise

She's getting hysterical
No talking anymore
She's getting hysterical
All's fair in love and war

She's on her way, there's no return
I walk a road and watch it burn
A crazy world goes rolling by
She's got the look in her eye

She's getting hysterical
No talking anymore
She's getting hysterical
All's fair in love and war

I should say I'm sorry
And come back for more
I could make it easy
But all's fair in love and war
She's getting hysterical

She's half asleep with her wild eyed dreams
An early fall, a summer breeze
She's on her way, there's no escape
You try to turn but it's too late ...
Track Name: Martial
MARTIAL
by Erik Norlander (c)2014 Waking Dream Music, BMI

One more mountain in the distance, haze and clouds behind
Face the future, climb the mountain, take each step at a time

Martial will, and testify
Leave your dark days behind

One last valley past the mountain, get to there in time
Present future, deep the valley, far as ocean as wide

Martial will, and testify
Leave your dark days behind
Track Name: It's Over
IT’S OVER
by Mark McCrite and Don Schiff (c)2014 Vermiscious Music, BMI

I have no sense of rhythm
I have no need for time
I can't see any reason in the rhyme

And I just can't remember
Before it felt this way
And all the things we lost along the way

Wishing I could just start over
I need to feel alive again
I'm so afraid to make the next move
For all the things that might have been

But it's over
It’s over

No easy way to find it
On any road I've known
I've learned to make my way out on my own

I can't explain what's missing
But it's missing all the same
I had to lose to learn to play the game
Doesn't feel like starting over
Cause this is what I've always been
Wake me up to face the new day
Another chance to shed my skin

‘Cause it's over
It’s really over

I must be a fool to think of leaving
With so much more to say
If I could find a way
I'd be alright given time
But it's not right and I'm not fine

I wish that I could just start over
And feel alive again
Wake me up to face the new day
One more chance to shed my skin

‘Cause it's over
It’s over
Track Name: The Fading Light
THE FADING LIGHT
by Erik Norlander (c)2014 Waking Dream Music, BMI

Strange roads have brought you here
Far away from home
Dark days have turned to years
Through the great unknown

When all is lost
You hold on to the fading light
When changes darken all you knew
The fading light will guide you home

Strange engines turn their wheels
It's a big machine
Steam powers brass and steel
If you could see what I have seen

When all is lost
You hold on to the fading light
When changes darken all you knew
The fading light

When all is lost
You hold on to the fading light
When changing skies go darker blue
The fading light will bring you home
Track Name: The World Waits for You
THE WORLD WAITS FOR YOU
by Mark McCrite (c)2014 Vermiscious Music, BMI

Standing on higher ground
You don’t make a sound
Trying to get to tomorrow

I’ll be a better man
And keep you safer than
All of the ones who will follow

Searching for a deeper meaning
That’s right before your eyes
You won’t know just what you’ll find
‘Til you’re flying through the sky

Wishing your days away
Everything fades away
Like a New Year’s resolution

And after the long goodnight
Wake with the morning light
Hoping to find a solution

Maybe it’s just part of the journey
Where no one knows your name
When you finally get where you’re going
Will you still feel the same?

So hold on tight through the long, dark night
It’ll be alright
And I’ll be there to help you

Let go of my hand, but stay in command
Then you’ll understand
The world is waiting for you
Track Name: Cheshire Cat Smile (feat. Kelly Keeling)
CHESHIRE CAT SMILE
by Erik Norlander (c)2014 Waking Dream Music, BMI

There's nothing left but a ghost
A photo faded to gray

Before it all slipped away
You burned as bright as the sun

That's how I remember you

Like the Cheshire Cat smile
The Cheshire Cat smile
Smile
The Cheshire Cat smile

Only few find the way
Would you know if you did?
And do you really want to at all?

I saw a face in the crowd
Dressed up like a memory

That's how I remember you

Like the Cheshire Cat smile
The Cheshire Cat smile
Smile
The Cheshire Cat smile
Track Name: Rome's About to Fall
ROME’S ABOUT TO FALL
by Mark McCrite (c)2014 Vermiscious Music, BMI

Here we are again
Starting at the end
It’s hard to find a friend
When it’s over

Nothing left to say
We’ve thrown it all away
We’ve sold our souls today
To buy tomorrow

One step into the mouth of madness
One step into the dead of night
We’re out on our own
Just trying to get it right

We don’t know where this is going
But this ain’t how it’s supposed to be
We always thought that we could have it all
But now Rome’s about to fall

Now you’d like to try
To kiss it all goodbye
You’re living in a lie
But you don’t know it

You don’t understand
Why you’re never in demand
And it got so out of hand
In the end

One step into the mouth of madness
One step into the dead of night
We’re out on our own
Just trying to get it right

We don’t know where this is going
But this ain’t how it’s supposed to be
We always thought that we could have it all
But now Rome’s about to fall
Track Name: The Lost Years (feat. Lana Lane)
THE LOST YEARS
by Erik Norlander (c)2014 Waking Dream Music, BMI

I had a dream
We broke through the sky
I held on with both hands
But the dream passed me by

And now it's gone
I'm just an empty shell
I wonder how my heaven
Went all to hell

The lost years
The lost years
Gone like yesterday
The lost years

I grieve for the future
I live in the past
I long for the moments
That never could last

And now it's done
So much empty space
I wear the mask of sadness
Lines on my face

The lost years
The lost years
Gone like yesterday
The lost years

The lost years
The lost years
Gone like summer days
The lost years

The lost years
The lost years
Time just slips away
The losts years
Track Name: It's Over - no crossfade - bonus track
IT’S OVER
by Mark McCrite (c)2014 Vermiscious Music, BMI

I have no sense of rhythm
I have no need for time
I can't see any reason in the rhyme

And I just can't remember
Before it felt this way
And all the things we lost along the way

Wishing I could just start over
I need to feel alive again
I'm so afraid to make the next move
For all the things that might have been

But it's over
It’s over

No easy way to find it
On any road I've known
I've learned to make my way out on my own

I can't explain what's missing
But it's missing all the same
I had to lose to learn to play the game
Doesn't feel like starting over
Cause this is what I've always been
Wake me up to face the new day
Another chance to shed my skin

‘Cause it's over
It’s really over

I must be a fool to think of leaving
With so much more to say
If I could find a way
I'd be alright given time
But it's not right and I'm not fine

I wish that I could just start over
And feel alive again
Wake me up to face the new day
One more chance to shed my skin

‘Cause it's over
It’s over
Track Name: Cheshire Cat Smile - no crossfade - bonus track
CHESHIRE CAT SMILE
by Erik Norlander (c)2014 Waking Dream Music, BMI

There's nothing left but a ghost
A photo faded to gray

Before it all slipped away
You burned as bright as the sun

That's how I remember you

Like the Cheshire Cat smile
The Cheshire Cat smile
Smile
The Cheshire Cat smile

Only few find the way
Would you know if you did?
And do you really want to at all?

I saw a face in the crowd
Dressed up like a memory

That's how I remember you

Like the Cheshire Cat smile
The Cheshire Cat smile
Smile
The Cheshire Cat smile