Teenage Bottlerocket - Total (Cover Artwork)

Teenage Bottlerocket

Total (2005)

Red Scare

Before we get this review underway, look through your CD/vinyl collection real fast. Do you own some records by the Ramones, and maybe one or two by the Descendents? Good. Now, do you like these records? If you do, then you may stop reading here and go buy this record.

Teenage Bottlerocket is based out of Wyoming, and just happens to be Kody Lillington's new band (hopefully a familiar name), and these guys play some of the best pop-punk to be heard in a long time. As stated above, they take the sound of the Ramones and (in my opinion anyway) fuse it with the guitar work of earlier Descendents. Anyone who has listened to either of those bands know that this is a perfect combination.

The band winds up playing fast, fun, albeit simple songs. Some songs have only one verse that is repeated twice. One song features the sentence "Girl, you know, I love it when you go away," repeated for the entire 2-minute duration of the track. Of course, this isn't a problem in the least nor is it to be seen as a complaint. Just giving you an idea of what these guys are doing. Most songs revolve around the topic of girls, and these are the best songs. Catchy, almost too poppy, songs featuring lyrics such as:

So please stay / Tell me that you'll never go away / 'Cause if you do / I'm coming after you / So cool / I love hanging out with you / Baby, you're so cool / With all the stupid things we do."
However, this brings us to the only problem with the album. Songs such as "So Cool" and "Stupid Games" are going to be classics for the band, there is no doubt about that. But songs like "Rebound" and "Blood Bath At Burger King," while good (and certainly relatable), seem to lose their charm quickly after only a few listens. The aforementioned "Rebound" kills the momentum of the album, and "Blood Bath" isn't quite as funny after 5 listens. In other words, the simple love songs are really the keepers on the album, and luckily, a great portion of the record is just that.

I can't explain enough how great this record is. Listening to it, I'm hit with nostalgia for bands of yesterday, and still it feels so fresh and new. Teenage Bottlerocket has taken the very foundation of pop-punk and built a skyscraper of an album. Highly recommended.