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Teenage Bottlerocket - Freak Out! (Cover Artwork)

Teenage Bottlerocket

Teenage Bottlerocket: Freak Out!Freak Out! (2012)
Fat Wreck Chords

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


Contributed by: BryneBryne
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Freak Out! is Teenage Bottlerocket's fifth album and it shows, but in the sense that the familiarity here is a strength instead of a weakness. These four guys from Laramie, Wyo. have been churning out so much musically tight, lyrically quirky pop-punk jams over the past decade that they're essential.
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Freak Out! is Teenage Bottlerocket's fifth album and it shows, but in the sense that the familiarity here is a strength instead of a weakness. These four guys from Laramie, Wyo. have been churning out so much musically tight, lyrically quirky pop-punk jams over the past decade that they're essentially getting by on sheer muscle memory, and Freak Out! is another fun chapter from perhaps punk's most fun band.

The album's first half is decidedly more aggressive than that of 2009's wonderful They Came From The Shadows-the anti-concussion cautionary tale "Headbanger" and the hilariously titled "Necrocomicon" all whiz by with speed, while "Cruising for Chicks" (which is about exactly what you think it's about) plods a bit in the verses before hitting the gas in the chorus. The midsection of the record, however, is bigger on pop, with "Maverick" using Top Gun references as allegory for a relationship, and a pair of impressively, painfully catchy mid-tempo songs in "Done with Love" and "Never Gonna Tell You."

The mood briefly cascades back to silliness in the album's backend, with anthems tackling heady topics such as mosh etiquette ("In The Pit") and Kill Bill-style vengeance ("Who Killed Sensei?"), but the variation is a little more defined with "Summertime" and closer "Go With The Flow," two of the best pop songs TBR have ever written.

Other than the somewhat uneven sequencing, the other minor problem with Freak Out! is the inclusion of two thirds of 2011's Mutilate Me EP-the title track and "Punk House of Horror"-in lieu of previously unreleased material. In the age of Spotify, Rdio and iTunes there's no such thing as a "limited edition" release, and while the songs are still great and fit the album's sound like a glove, most listeners who bought Mutilate Me would've likely preferred some new songs in their place.

Even with that said, though, it's hard to stay mad at Teenage Bottlerocket for long. They're able to harvest earnestness from otherwise ridiculous places, where most similar bands fall short. It's a tradition that continues on Freak Out! and will hopefully keep the group going for years to come.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
The Menzingers - On the Impossible PastMasked Intruder - Masked IntruderBanner Pilot - Heart Beats PacificDead To Me - Moscow Penny AnteThe Menzingers - Chamberlain WaitsTeenage Bottlerocket - They Came from the ShadowsFrank Turner - England Keep My BonesDear Landlord - Dream HomesThe Clash - London CallingAgainst Me! - As The Eternal Cowboy

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
gugl0003 (December 13, 2012)

Like the review, although I'm not sure if "Maverick" is an allegory for anything; pretty sure it's just about Top Gun.

kylewagoner (July 10, 2012)

They Came From the Shadows came out 3 years ago? Goddammit.

bandgeekmafia78 (July 10, 2012)

Yeaaah this sounds good. I still prefer The Lillingtons though!

nocomply (July 9, 2012)

Love it! So funny, so fun! The lyrics are giving Parry Gripp a run for his money.

These tracks are begging me to put them on repeat.

TibbsTastic (July 9, 2012)

Really loving this record! 5 Stars!

tonyhuntington (July 9, 2012)

these guys are great i played the cd in my van on the way to the beach last night any cd the guy from the lilingtons is on has to be great .

jephso (July 6, 2012)

They sound more accomplished and comfortable with their sound and humour than ever before. Perfect album for them to make at this point in their career.

HCS (July 5, 2012)

TBR is just so great, just so damn great!

levidolphin (July 5, 2012)

ya Ray kinda sounds like the dude from Nerf Herder at times and thats not bad at all!!! i think all their vocals have improved. Ray and Kody sound great. This album is great. TBR continues to kick ass and improve!!! Gonna be rocking this all summer.

greg0rb (July 5, 2012)

Maverick sounds like a Nerf Herder song. This is a good thing.

jacknife737 (July 4, 2012)

Huge fucking grin on my face all way through this. Love it.

Mrcips (July 4, 2012)

Awesome album. Defiantly with comet for grate summer albums.

detachedretina (July 4, 2012)

I agree with Echos's ranking.

slymer (July 3, 2012)

This is right up there with "Total" and "They Came From the Shadows". Excellent album. I thought "Warning Device" was a disappointment.

pinkerton (July 3, 2012)

Review is really terrible, but listen to the record and enjoy!

thrillho (July 3, 2012)

Between this and Mean Jeans.. okay Mean Jeans would be slightly better than this, but this is not bad at all. Never really into their previous albums, but instantly like this one.

waj (July 3, 2012)

After a few listens, the songs from Mutilate Me are my favorites, but that might be because I've been listening to them for a year. Solid record overall. Few that are OK, few that are amazing. Similar to "They Came From the Shadows" only "Skate or Die" is by far the best song to start an album. The first 6 songs from ...Shadows are so goood, while Freak Out! gets good after a few OK songs.

Thumbs (July 3, 2012)

Not bad, but I thought it would be better.

EchosMyron (July 3, 2012)

"I'd like to take this time to declare that after several years.. Warning Device has proved itself to be the greatest pop punk album of the last decade."

As if. Sex Objects by the Briefs and Fix My Brain by the Marked Men are far better. And then there are the two Dillinger Four records as well as Guitar Romantic by the Exploding Hearts, even if those aren`t really in the classic Ramones style.

And the reason I mention hookiness so much when discussing pop punk is because it`s by far the most important aspect of the genre. I certainly don`t listen to pop punk for mind-blowing lyricism or musical innovation.

fattony (July 3, 2012)

This is everything I expect in a TBR album. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Shadows > Total > Freak Out! > Warning Device > Another Way

joe_weasel (July 3, 2012)

I'd like to take this time to declare that after several years.. Warning Device has proved itself to be the greatest pop punk album of the last decade. So it makes sense that I prefer my TBR more poppy and less aggressive. But still, these past two albums have been a lot of fun, if somewhat forgettable.

MN_DrNick (July 3, 2012)

Echos, you really throw the word hooks around too much. Please stop using it. Thanks.

EchosMyron (July 3, 2012)

"For some reason I get irritated about the constant Lillington posts. It bothers me as much as posts about "Jack needs to get back into Dead to Me". The Lillingtons were a great band but haven't been together since at least 2008.
I actually prefer TBR to the Lillingtons."

That`s because Death by Television so obviously towers above anything by TBR.

essenceoftong (July 3, 2012)

not their best but still bloody good. to the guy who likes headbanger.....youtube the original by sack

EchosMyron (July 3, 2012)

The Sonic Avenues album is NOT better than On Mars. After being initially excited by it and giving it a dozen or so listens, I came to the conclusion that the hooks just aren`t that great. The vocalist is weak too. There isn`t another album this year that has gone from the top of my list to the bottom so quickly.

Jeevz (July 3, 2012)

What I did was I added the BR cover to the end of Freak Out, no need to have duplicates. I'm OCD

killtaker (July 3, 2012)

For some reason I get irritated about the constant Lillington posts. It bothers me as much as posts about "Jack needs to get back into Dead to Me". The Lillingtons were a great band but haven't been together since at least 2008.
I actually prefer TBR to the Lillingtons.

dangerdangerdanger (July 3, 2012)

I don't know why but 'Headbanger' is so awesome... this is a good record, not great but that okay I like it... well most of it anyway.

MN_DrNick (July 3, 2012)

Echos is still not making a good pop punk argument because Sonic Avenues is not on his list (better than Mean Jeans, even though I like both bands).

Anyways, Freak Out rules. It's good old pop punk. What more do you guys want? It's awesome fun. New summer jam album.

schaumpton (July 3, 2012)

"This album is so poppy, it's irresponsible." - Jamey Jasta

77Punker (July 3, 2012)

Just got it yesterday and love it....listened to it several times last night. Could be their best yet!! Headbanger is fuckin' great.

Filbunke (July 3, 2012)

"They actually do go from worst to best in order of release."

What?? "Total" is clearly their best. Haven't heard this one yet, though.

mattramone (July 3, 2012)

Also, if you don't like the song "Necrocomicon," please turn in both your sense of humor and your Evil Dead DVDs to your local non-Salvation Army thrift stores so that 12 year olds cooler than you have a fighting chance of not being a shitty adult too.

mattramone (July 3, 2012)

One or two more songs different (kinda glad I didn't spend the money on the last seven inch, considering), and TBR would be in that rare company whose album rankings are just their discography in reverse. Regardless, this album kicks ten kinds of ass and as soon as it's no longer a billion degrees outside, Freak Out is going to be my windows down, Friday night car jam of the summer.

phillypunk (July 3, 2012)

I'm sad to say another band I really admire and adore kind of left my ears wanting to hear more and something different from there 2012 release. I can only speak for myself and with this said I have no problem saying that Freakout! struck-out with me just as much as the Bouncing Souls Comet did.

Hermano (July 3, 2012)

Best album since Total.

EchosMyron (July 3, 2012)

The Lillingtons > Total > Warning Device > Freak Out! > Shadows = Another Way

It`s hard to imagine this album making my top 20, what with the Mean Jeans, Dan Vapid, the Mind Spiders, and (probably) White Wires all releasing better pop punk albums this year.

punk_sk (July 3, 2012)

Warning Device = Shadows > Total = Freak Out > Another Way

DesertBurst92 (July 3, 2012)

solid record. definitely on my top list for 2012. maverick is fantastic!

MrPistachio (July 3, 2012)

Headbanger is fucking funny.

I still think The Lillingtons are 10 times better than TBR have ever been but this is TBR's best album. They actually do go from worst to best in order of release.

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