Teenage Bottlerocket - They Came from the Shadows (Cover Artwork)

Teenage Bottlerocket

They Came from the Shadows (2009)

Fat Wreck Chords

Teenage Bottlerocket's 2008 release, Warning Device, was ranked as Punknews' 9th best record of 2008, so 2009's They Came from the Shadows probably has some big shoes to fill, right? Right.

Well, their first album on Fat Wreck Chords is a powerful pop-punk answer to their 2008 release. With a playtime of just under 32 minutes and only two tracks running over three minutes, the album flies by but still leaves you wanting more.

Starting with "Skate or Die," a skate anthem that feels just out of a game of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, kicks the album off well. The following track, "Don't Want to Go" tells the story about a guy avoiding going somewhere out out of fear of seeing a girl that just broke his heart. "Bigger Than KISS" is an ambitious and fast-paced track where Teenage Bottlerocket call out some big names and declare, "We're gonna go down in history as the world's greatest rock and roll band."

One of the best tracks on the record, "Not OK" is nothing but fun and a big fuck you to a bad ex-girlfriend, continuing on the theme of a bad breakup started early on in the album. "Without You" and "Be With You" are hard and catchy, and by catchy I mean that they won't leave your head for days. "Be with You," arguably the best track on the album, starts and ends too quickly.

While a few tracks leave more to be desired, they're over before you know it, as the best songs come roaring in.

Teenage Bottlerocket's latest effort is a tremendous pop-punk record, one of the best this year so far. It's not far off from making another appearance on Punknews' Best-of list. The world's greatest rock and roll band? Not yet, but maybe, if they keep it up.