Teenage Bottlerocket

Too Tough To Buy is a new column brought to you by Punknews.org. Every Tuesday, Bryne Yancey will highlight anticipated new releases, spotlight underappreciated new releases and torchlight other things on fire. Have a question or want to submit your band for inclusion? Email Bryne here. Wanna spam your band at him in the most patently annoying way possible? Follow him on twitter.

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MUST BUY: Teenage Bottlerocket - Freak Out!

We all sort of know what we’re getting from Teenage Bottlerocket at this point: Supremely tight and catchy pop-punk songs about relationships, monsters, freak outs, whatever "going nutzoid" means, etc. But unlike most bands steeped in one sound, TBR still seem like they’re having fun, and attributes like that tend to endear bands to listeners. From songs that use Top Gun as an analogy for romance ("Maverick"), to anti-concussion anthems ("Headbanger"), to rapid-fire, tongue-in-cheek revenge jams ("Who Killed Sensei?"), Freak Out! may reek of familiarity but it’s still an above-average addition to the band’s canon. (Fat Wreck Chords)

THEN BUY: Sirs - Sirs

Like a lot of the bands on the burgeoning Topshelf Records roster, Sirs occupy a strange in-between sound that’s difficult to pin down. There’s a loud, distant looseness to their songs that call bands like Joyce Manor or Big Kids to mind, but it’s also apparent that like many of their contemporaries, they’re at least partially influenced by Cap’n Jazz. Their debut full-length is full of swirling, unhinged energy impressively spread across quick bursts ("King’s English," "Eye For An Answer") as well as longer, more dissonant fare ("Left To Our Own Devices"). Judge for yourself at the band's Punknews.org profile. One of the more impressive debuts of 2012 thus far. (Topshelf Records)

BANDCAMP RECOMMENDATION: Milhouse - Everything's Coming Up​.​.​. EP

Image Out since September but flying under the radar since, Sydney, Australia’s Milhouse perform curt pop-punk large on hooks and silly, clever lyrical content that tackles heavy topics like Internet shorthand ("TL;DR") and our imminent robot overlords ("Uncanny Valley"). Judging by photos on their Facebook page, the group are working on new music, so now’s a good time to become familiar. Everything’s Coming Up… is available for free download below and while import vinyl can be purchased here, consider this blurb an open plea for a North American label to press it. (Midnight Funeral)


Pacer - Making Plans: These London-based punks self-release their latest after a split 7-inch with Iron Chic for All In Vinyl and the No. 1 EP for Chunksaah. Physical release coming later this year. "Flutters" can be heard at their Punknews.org profile and the whole damn thing can be heard below. (Self-released)


JKutchma and the Five Fifths - Pastoral: Americana-tinged side project from energetic Red Collar frontman Jay Kutchma, one of the more underrated and unheralded songwriters in the scene today. Lots of organ and harmonica, and as usual, Kutchma’s vocals are brimming with charisma. Three songs from it can be hard below. (Last Chance)


Be My Doppelganger - New Album Sampler: Southern Indiana’s finest share four songs slated to appear on their new album, tentatively titled Artless. From the sounds of it, they’re going straight up power-pop on this one, with longer songs, slower tempos and more readily apparent hooks. (Self-released)