Teenage Bottlerocket - Another Way [Deluxe Edition] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Teenage Bottlerocket

Another Way [Deluxe Edition] (2011)

Red Scare

Over the years, Teenage Bottlerocket has steadily built up a fanbase through consistent touring and devotion to a pure form of pop-punk that mirrors the Ramones, Mr. T Experience and the much maligned Screeching Weasel. The band turns out consistently strong, catchy records with little stylistic deviation, something the group acknowledges by simply palette-swapping the same crossbones album cover over and over. This is the Mortal Kombat of pop-punk.

That said, Red Scare's recent re-release of TBR's full-length debut, Another Way, is a surprising listen. Certain elements have clearly carried over to later albums–the primal guitar chords, the snotty vocals–but it's still shocking to hear how young the group sounds. I can't imagine something like "Senior Prom", about how you totally don't have to go to the senior prom, ending up on They Came From the Shadows. Comparing Another Way to Shadows reveals a bit of artistic growth, at least as much as a pop-punk band can grow.

That doesn't mean Another Way is bad. Quite the opposite, as the group nearly had their sound in place by this point. The tunes are catchy, the guitars snarl (dig that dissonance on "Opportunity") and the beats are always kickin'. Sure, there are some clunkers like "Rathead", but tunes like "Another Way" and "Patrick" rank among the band's best. There are little things that needed tweaking and were corrected on subsequent releases, but not much.

Another Way is not ideal for a first TBR purchase–Shadows or Warning Device would be better. But those already down with the Ramones fest will be pleased with this re-release. The remastering gives the songs a little more clarity. The bonus tracks nearly double the record's running time, boosting the original album's 11 songs with six more tunes culled from the band's A-Bomb EP and Why I Let You Get Away, a split with Bill the Welder. The band's early output from 2002-2004 is nicely assembled. Now get to work on a deluxe edition of Total.