Friday, May 20, 2011

Music Reviews: Teenage Bottlerocket - Mutilate Me

The new Teenage Bottlerocket 7", Mutilate Me is jam-packed with what I love about this band: straightforward, fun punk rock songs in the vein of Screeching Weasel and The Ramones; not to say they copy those bands, they just take that style and up the ante to make it their own. Side A is the title track. The song jumps right in and never lets up. This song will stick in your head like a bad joke for days on end, and that's a good thing. The production value is top-notch, bringing out the best in singer/guitarist, Ray Carlisle's vocals as well as the backup vocals of singer/guitarist, Kody Templeman. Lyrically it's a funny song about the simple, yet painful, pleasures of S&M (hey, who doesn't like a good choking every now and again?), all wrapped up in a nice little package. Throw in a kick-ass guitar solo and you have the makings of yet another classic from Laramie, Wyoming's finest.

Side B has a short, but sweet slice of greatness called "Punk House Of Horror." Kody takes over vocal duties for this tune about "a place in the city you don't want to go," where the owner smells like urine and Crass posters hang on the door. Kinda sounds like my first apartment. The band is tight and the production is great. I only wish the guitar solo was more in the forefront and not so far back in the mix. With that aside, it's a damn good tune.

This EP ends with a cover of Bad Religion's "Henchmen." Some people are not big fans of the cover song. I, myself, don't mind if it's done right. Justice has to be made in order for it to work. And TBR do BR loads of justice. It has the layered backup vocals that BR are known for. It goes from mid tempo to an almost thrash-style beat at the drop of a hat. I don't think the original was able to pull that off so effortlessly. Props to drummer Brandon Carlisle and bassist Miguel Chen for being one of, if not the, tightest rhythm sections in all of punk rock. All in all, this is a wonderful slab of vinyl to hold us over until the band's next full-length.

4 ½ / 5 Stars

Pressing info:
1219 on black vinyl/red cover
305 on red vinyl/red cover
304 on blue vinyl/blue cover 

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