Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Music Reviews: Teenage Bottlerocket - Freak Out!

Teenage Bottlerocket have a system for making great albums. They never take themselves too seriously and make fun albums full of fist in the air sing-a-longs. So it's no surprise the bands latest album "Freak Out" (out now on Fat Wreck Chords) is jam packed with some of the best punk rock songs to come out this year. Like the Ramones before them, TBR have carved out a sound all their own. Fast songs that cut right to the chase and always leave you wanting more. I mean who else could write a song about the 80's schlock film Top Gun ("Maverick") and pull it off? Nobody, that's who!

Of the 14 tracks on the album fans may recognize 3. "Mutilate Me" (is this song about S&M an ode to bassist Miguel Chen?) and "Punk House Of Horror" both appeared on last years Mutilate Me 7". And "Headbanger" appeared on the "Get Wrecked" album by Sack, which was a side project by drummer Brandon Carlisle and singer/guitarist Kody Templeman. But all the tracks are super catchy and infectious, sure to get a pit going when played at an excessive volume.

While the album doesn't steer away from the sound and lyrical content we're used to getting from Laramie, Wyoming's finest, there is one track that's, shall we say, a little bit more mature as far as lyrics and subject matter go. "Done With Love" was written by Kody after he and his wife divorced. It's one of the best tracks on the album and very well could be Kody's finest moment as a lyricist. He may have a "heart of stone", but he's still got a knack for writing great songs. Just an awesome track!

Kody's not the only one at the top of his game. Ray Carlisle also has a couple monsters on the album in the forms of "Cruising For Chicks", with it's simple lyrical approach and a heavy palm muted chugging guitar riff, it really sets the mood for a Friday night out looking for that special someone to spend a few short hours with. And "Go With The Flow" is a great way to end an album full of high notes ON a high note. Ray's vocals are so great when paired with Kody's backing vocals, and this track really brings the most out of these two singers. This song is such a gem that I can see it as a possible single.

Teenage Bottlerocket are at the top of their game on "Freak Out". And the sky's the limit for this band who continue to put out quality punk rock, album after album. If you haven't already seem them live, check em out at this years Riot Fest in Chicago. They bring it every time! And for Pete's sake, get the bands back catalog if you don't already have it. You won't regret it.

5 / 5 stars.

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