There’s nothing quite like a song that catches you off guard and just has you getting all sorts of emotional. That’s exactly what the new song “Everything To Me” by Teenage Bottlerocket did to me.
As a father of two, this song kicked me right in the feelings and pretty much had me tearing up something good.
Check it out and maybe you’ll feel the same:
Seriously, this Ramones-esque dad rock track was the best goddamn thing I have heard all year. I can not wait until their new album Stay Rad drops later thing month. By the sounds of this song though, they should have called it Stay Dad.
Just in time for the holidays, your favorite pop-punk band Teenage Bottlerocket has announced an upcoming 7″ titled American Deutsch Bag”.
Featuring tracks like “Ich bin Auslander und Spreche Nicht Gut Deutsch” and “I’m the One Smoking Marijuana Motherfucker”, this album is sure to be a family favorite. At just under 4 minutes long, I think it is safe to say that TBR have put together a masterpiece.
Actually, the songs have nothing to do with the holidays, but everything to do with Germany. Well, sort of. The band, after falling in love with Germany, decided to pay their own homage in a humorous way. I know I enjoyed their new tracks.
The band also threw on their appropriate cover of the late Tony Sly’s “Via Munich”. This is the same track found on the Tony Sly tribute that dropped just last month.
TBR’s very own Ray had this to say about the idea of the German friendly tunes:
On Teenage Bottlerocket’s last tour in Europe, we made friends with a dude in a Lethal Weapon 2 hat. We referred to him as a Deutsch bag. He was a good sport and found the insult endearing. I’ve always loved Germany. I took German in high school and we sang alot of songs. One of the songs was entitled “Ich bin Auslander und Spreche Nicht Gut Deutsch”. This is roughly translated “I’m not from here and my German sucks”. We decided to make it a pop punk song. If I screw up any of the pronunciation it’s because my German sucks, it’s a pretty good excuse to fuck up the words. We also included a new song about smoking reefer and a song by our dear friend Tony Sly called “Via Munich”. We recorded the 7″ at the Blasting Room with Andrew Berlin. Everything seemed to fall into place. The 7″ will be available on our upcoming European tour with VOLBEAT and ICED EARTH. Guten tag.
Wait. Did Ray just say they were touring with Volbeat and Iced Earth in Europe? Bad ass.
Do I really need to sit here and type an intro for Teenage Bottlerocket? I am sure many of you who are reading this know who this band is and what they are all about. In the last few years they have been turning heads with their pop punk fun and special humor. Currently the band has become one of the more talked about bands on the Fat Wreck Chords roster with their recently dropped album Freak Out!. It’s easily one of my favorite releases of 2012.
I’ve been privileged to have caught this act years ago and knew back then that they would be going places one day. A few years back I was fortunate to have the chance to interview Ray just as the band signed with Fat Wreck Chords. They were still getting noticed at the time and it just a fun experience. When I heard that they was going to hit the road this summer headlining their own tour, I was stoked and felt the need to chat with them again.
This time around I was able to talk with Ray and Kody about their new release as well as whatever else came to mind. Enjoy!
How’s it going guys?
Ray: Going Great, Thanks for asking.
This is killing me so I need to get it out of the way, but last time we chatted we were talking about the worst city you ever played in and Ray said Las Cruces, NM. Well, recently I moved to Las Cruces, NM, and have caught a minor case of depression knowing you may never come down this way again. I understand. Perhaps that can change one day as I would love to see you guys live again. Can I bribe you all with chicken tacos or something?
Ray: Chicken enchiladas might be a bribe we would take.
Kody: I love Mexican food so you’re on the right path with the chicken tacos, but you’re going to have to throw something else in there too. 6 pack of HAMMS?
HAMMs….check. Seriously though, I am sure a lot has changed in the last two years since we first chatted. First off, congrats on an all new album! How stoked are you for all your fans to hear?
Ray: Very stoked to see the fans reaction to the songs, especially live. I cant wait to get out there and play these songs.
Kody: I’m stoked. I think it’s our best record yet.
The album rules. Once again you guys have impressed the hell out of me with your fun punk rock jams. Thank you.
Ray: You’re very welcome.
Kody: All in a day’s work!
You all crammed back into the Blasting Room again to record Freak Out. How did it feel to be in the recording studio working with Andrew Berlin?
Ray: Very comfortable. It was great to work with Andrew again, he is the secret 5th member of the band.
Kody: Working with Andrew is awesome. He’s one of us.
Any reason for calling the new album Freak Out!?
Ray: We usually try to name our records after songs. Originally we were going to call the record Summertime. After we recorded, Summertime just didn’t really fit the feel of the album. We all agreed Freak Out! was a better title.
“Necrocomicon” is amazing. Who came up with that brilliant song?
Kody: Me. It’s about the comic book of the dead……get it?
Ray: I love it.
Are there any songs on the album you happen to favor?
Kody: It’s hard to pick a favorite. Songs you write for a record are like children. It’d be tacky and wrong to claim one as your favorite.
Ray: I really like “Go With The Flow” and “In The Pit.” I have a special place in my heart for all the songs.
Did you do anything differently this time around or did you keep with the same sound?
Ray: We have developed our sound a little more, nothing too out there, but I think we have all gotten better at our instruments.
Kody: We used a keyboard on one of the songs. Aside from that….no.
So tell me about the video you shot for the first single off the new album, “Headbanger”.
Kody: We threw a party at Brandon’s house and a bunch of our buddies showed up sporting all kinds of heavy metal gear. So we got wrecked and recorded it.
Ray: Its a Heavy Metal party. Our friend “Magic Cyclops” is in the video, he’s the headbanger.
That song was actually written by a previous band you guys were in, SACK, right?. How long ago was that band in full force?
Kody: SACK was around for about a year and a half maybe. It was never really full force. We played three shows and they were all a fucking disaster. I blame the booze. It was a fun band though.
Ray: They were back when the “Get Wrecked” album was recorded. I think it was sometime in 2003. SACK shreds!
Any other videos in the works?
Ray: None at the moment.
You are about to embark on a huge tour in support of Freak Out!, how does it feel to get back on the road?
Kody: Awesome. This last break we took [from touring] has been the longest since we started. It’s always fun playing shows and hanging out with earth other and all our buddies in other cities.
Who are you most excited to be sharing the tour with? I must say I am bummed the hell out to not be in Cleveland to see Nothington play with you guys… (and The Beat Kids…haha)
Ray: I’m excited to hang with everyone. I really like all the bands we are touring with.
Kody: I’m stoked to have all the bands out with us. We’re lucky that we can have a say in who we take out with us. So it’s always a blast going out as a headliner cause we get to take our buddies with. I’m stoked to see Masked Intruder. That ep they put out cracks me up.
So who in the band decided that Teenage Bottlerocket needed to cover some Joy Division songs?
Ray: Kody came to me with the idea and I was all about it. I wasn’t familiar with “Ice Age”, but I knew “We Walked In Line.” The 7″ turned out great. It was cool to have Clearview involved with one of our releases again.
Kody: Todd Greene at Clearview brought it up cause he knew that we were into Joy Division. He picked “Ice Age” and we picked “Walked in Line.”
Any chance you guys will do something like this again?
Ray: We are doing a special vinyl release with Clearview, but I don’t want to give too much away. It’s going to be really cool.
Kody: I would say yes. We’ve always had fun covering other bands tunes and recording that shit.
Did you guys ever think your bad would get where it is today?
Kody: And where is that?
Ray: I never thought it would, but I always wanted it to.
10 years together as a band; that is pretty damn impressive. Are things getting easier for you all?
Ray: Yes, We just know how to do it a little better now, not too much better, but a little.
How was insubordination Fest?
Kody: It was rad.
Ray: It was alot of fun. Great bands, and Natural Bohemian beer.
“Bigger Than Kiss” made it on Rock Band. Dudes, you totally have a video game song. Is it weird playing it yourselves?
Ray: Haha, I haven’t ever played it. I was stoked “Crashing” got into Skate 2. I like skateboard video games more than the Guitar Hero stuff. I really suck at playing those guitars.
Kody: I’m more of a Guitar Hero kind of guy. Next question.
So, just a random out of nowhere question, does it freak you out that so many of the bands on the covers of music magazines like AP and whatnot are more or less dressed in drag?
Not at all, its nothing new, take a look at the front cover of the 1st New York Dolls records, or Look What the Cat Dragged In by Poison. I think its cool. I don’t know any of those bands, but they look different, and that’s cool with me. I get bummed out on the way every one in my hometown of Laramie, Wyoming, wears North Face jackets, and they try to look all “Colorado”. I wish they dressed like the New York Dolls, so I guess its sort of a breath of fresh air, in kind of an odd way.
Kody: It would freak me out more if they weren’t dressed.
Both valid points. I still question what happened to some of these kids…
Kody: Bath salts!
Enough of me sounding like grandpa punk… Let me turn this interview over to you. Any thing you guys would like to say?
Ray: Please come check us out if we are playing in your area. It would mean a lot to us.
08/17/12 – Cleveland, OH – Now That’s Class w/ Nothington, Masked Intruder
08/18/12 – London, ON Canada – Call The Office w/ Nothington, Masked Intruder
08/19/12 – Toronto, ON Canada – Horseshoe w/ Nothington, Masked Intruder
08/20/12 – Montreal, QC, Canada – Les Foufounes Electriques w/ Nothington, Masked Intruder
08/21/12 – Cambridge, MA – Middle East w/ Nothington, Masked Intruder
08/22/12 – New York, NY – Santo’s Party House w/ Nothington, Masked Intruder
08/23/12 – Asbury Park, NJ – Asbury Lanes w/ Nothington, Masked Intruder
08/24/12 – Philadelphia, PA – The Barbary w/ Nothington, Masked Intruder
08/25/12 – Baltimore, MD – Otto Bar w/ Nothington, Masked Intruder
08/26/12 – Pittsburgh, PA – Garfield Artworks w/ Nothington, Masked Intruder
09/13/12 – Omaha, NE – The Sandbox
09/14/12 – Minneapolis, MN – Cabooze w/ NOFX, Dilliner Four, Arms Aloft
09/15/12 – Chicago, IL – Riot Fest
09/17/12 – Lansing, MI – Mac’s Bar
09/18/12 – Indianapolis, IN – Deluxe w/ NOFX
09/19/12 – Cincinnati, OH – Bogarts w/ NOFX
09/20/12 – Nashville, TN – The High Watt
09/21/12 – Little Rock, AR Downtown Music Hall
09/22/12 – Dallas, TX – Riot Fest
10/09/12 – Des Moines, IA – Gas Lamp w/ Masked Intruders
10/11/12 – Madison, WI – The Frequency w/ Toys That Kill, Masked Intruder
10/13/12 – Detroit, MI – Magic Stick- Lounge w/ Toys That Kill, Masked Intruder
10/14/12 – Fort Wayne, IN – The Brass Rail w/ Toys That Kill, Masked Intruder, Flaming Nosebleed
10/15/12 – St. Louis, MO – Firebird w/ Smoke Or Fire, Masked Intruder
10/16/12 – Kansas City, MO – Record Bar w/ Smoke Or Fire, Masked Intruder
10/17/12 – Oklahoma City, OK – The Conservatory w/ Smoke Or Fire, Masked Intruder
10/19/12 – Houston, TX – Walter’s w/ Smoke Or Fire, Masked Intruder
10/20/12 – Austin, TX – Red Seven w/ Smoke Or Fire, Masked Intruder
10/21/12 – Corpus Christi, TX – House of Rock w/ Smoke Or Fire, Masked Intruder
10/22/12 – San Antonio, TX – Korova w/ Smoke Or Fire, Masked Intruder
10/27/12 – Atlanta, GA – The Loft w/ Propagandhi, The Menzingers
Small town pop punk heroes Teenage Bottlerocket have done it again…
You know what? Why make you all wait to read this entire review to find out what I think, Freak Out is nothing short of what I would ever have expected from this Wyoming foursome. Full of hilarious, catchy, and memorable pop-punk tracks, Teenage Bottlerocket has released one of their best albums to date.
There, review done. Go buy it.
Ok, for the sake of those who might want to know a little more, I suppose I can talk about Freak Out a little more. After all, what else do I have to do right now?
Formed in 2001 in Laramie, WY, Teenage Bottlerocket started small and soon got noticed the old fashioned way. With no gimmicks and hard work the band was not only picked up by Red Scare Records, but also grabbed the attention of the Groovie Ghoulies who had them play their stage at a Warped Tour. In 2009, Teenage Bottlerocket signed to Fat Wreck Cords and dropped They Came From The Shadows, an impressive release that immediately grabbed this listener’s attention. It’s had to believe that it’s been 3 years since that album dropped; I still listen to it regularly.
Freak Out is the band’s fifth release and immediately started off where They Came From The Shadows dropped off. The 39-second title track screamed Ramones in a good good way. I loved the “1, 2, 3, 4” count in the background. Following the opening track was “Headbanger”, and it straight up ruled. There is nothing quite like a punk rock song glorifying an 80s metal party and especially one that rocked out from start to finish. I loved the fact that said headbanger got a concussion from whipping around his hair and the band noting “that shit can’t be good for your brain.”
“Necrocomicon” was brilliant. The song revolved around “the comic book of the dead” in San Diego. Fun lyrics with Yoda and Captain Kirk aiming to attack thanks to an evil curse. Seriously, I totally expected Teenage Bottlerocket to write something like that. “Maverick” continued as a catchy ass track talking about the other guy in Top Gun that did not go on to have a flourishing career making movies while battling to stay in the closet.
Not all jokes and tributes to movies, “Done With Love” was more serious about anti-love surrounded by riffs and hooks that made for one of my favorite tracks on the album. “Punk House Of Horror” was another track I really got a kick out of that had Teenage Bottlerocket just producing fun pop-punk music. “Never Going To Tell You” followed in the lines of something Screeching Weasel might have written without ripping them off one bit.
At my current age, it was nice to find out that “In The Pit” actually made fun of mosh pits rather than glorify them. Once upon a time my dumb ass ran around in circles and probably pissed off tons of people. That was then, and this is now and I appreciated that song a lot and apologize for my mindless actions as a confused youth in the 90s.
“Summertime” screamed to be the anthem for the rest of my summer. Singing of being sick of the cold and snow and going to where it is “hot as Mexico”, I am sure some of you can sense why I liked this song so much. Beyond that, it was a punk rock love song I am sure many of my Ohio friends can relate to.
“Go With The Flow” ended the album on a rather personal level about growing up and moving on. I liked how the song circled back around enough to show different levels of hurt from each side. The music that played with it was a tad different over the other songs in the sense that there was what sounded like a keyboard in there. Seeing two sides of the departure made the song that much more interesting to listen to.
The album is a quick but lasting listen with 14 tracks carrying just below a half hour. Freak Out is one of those albums that easily can be listened to over and over without getting sick of it, trust me on that. Teenage Bottlerocket easily has dropped their best release to date and intend to take their talent to the road for all to hear.
Fans of the Ramones and Screeching Weasel (even early Green Day) probably already know who Teenage Bottlerocket is and what they are all about: pop punk with fun, easy to sing along to lyrics. Nothing more, nothing less. It’s hard to not like this band, especially for the fact that they have not really changed up their style much and still drop excellent releases. It’s nice to see a level of consistency for a 10-year-old band not because they have not gone anywhere, but because they choose to stick to what they do best. As they are just starting to get heavily noticed, I hope to hell they keep their sound for 10 more years. It’s perfect.
So as many of you know last weekend I took Friday off of work and headed down to Cincinnati/Covington, KY with my pals to take in a NOFX show. My previous post obviously is the review of the show itself but sometimes I feel the need to review my weekend for everyone’s entertainment. After having an interesting yet busy week I was stoked to just get away even if it was for just one night.
After dropping of my dogs at my folks I headed to Columbus with my pal Kolb to pick up Pete and Mary Alice aka The Electric Grandmother and from there the trip would be in full effect. Weeks earlier we agreed that it would be awesome to take a road trip to see NOFX, Tony Sly, and Teenage Bottlerocket. Hang out with old friends and see one of my favorite punk bands? Yes please. To make matters even better I had just found out a couple days prior to the show that a band I recently became an instant fan of, The Menzingers, were opening! I was just thrilled and could not wait for Friday night at the Madison Theater.
Before continuing our drive we of course had to stop at one of my favorite bars in Columbus to grab a late breakfast. Granted I had only been to The Blue Danube once before I deemed it my favorite place for breakfast in Columbus after trying their vegetarian breakfast burrito. I wish I would have taken a picture of it but my stomach was too quick and I devoured the huge burrito full of eggs, potatoes, and all sorts of veggies and cheese. I took a chance eating that monster of a meal and getting trapped into a food coma but I lucked out and was fine. Once we were all nice and full we hopped in the car and proceeded to Covington, KY to our hotel.
It was about 4pm when we got to our hotel and with time to kill we all decided to chill out for a bit. I took the opportunity to check my email and discovered I was supposed to interview the Menzingers. Although I did not have my gear for an interview I decided to give the band a call anyways and see what we could work out. Man am I glad I called them.
Greg, the guitarist, answered the phone and after a couple of confusing seconds he realized I was not just some random person and we started chatting. He sounded stressed out and I soon found out why when he said he and the band were running late on account of their drumming having what they thought was food poisoning. From what I learned the drummer might have eaten some bad shellfish and was not in good shape causing multiple stops along the highway. Greg did not know if he should take him to the hospital or just let him rest but he did know that he was having a tough time getting in touch with the tour managers and that the band was going to have to sit Friday night out.
Not wanting to take up too much more of their time I wished them luck and told him we could do an interview another time. With all the hell going on Greg was super cool through the phone conversation and even texted me later in the evening letting me know that they were in fact not going to make it and were able to get a hold of Teenage Bottlerocket to let them know. As bummed out as I was to not be able to see the Menzingers that night I was not about to be selfish about it and knew that health is way more important that rocking out.
I am just glad I checked my email when I did.
At around 5:30 we regrouped and headed over to my favorite Irish pub in Covington, Molly Malone’s. Grabbing some dinner and a couple pints we just relaxed for a bit and talked about what we thought we would expect during the night. I can tell you this, if you are ever in Covington, KY go to Molly Malone’s and get a pint of Guinness. They pour it perfectly and even embed a shamrock on the head of the beer. The food is pretty damn delicious too.
Deciding to hoof it to the Madison Theater we made it there in no time. The place was like the Agora but with less isles to access the standing areas. I already wrote about the show so if you missed it click HERE and read away. Sadly I did not take a lot of photos at this venue but the couple I did are enough to remind me of the awesome evening.
Towards the end of the show a girl who sat by us in the balcony invited us to the Mad Hatter for a Loudmouth after party. They were the band that started off the concert that night in case you missed my review of the show. She kept saying NOFX was going there too but honestly I was not sure if that was really going to happen. She was cool as hell to talk to and very nice but after talking with my gang we decided to skip it after we saw people handing fliers out for it. I doubted my self a couple of times throughout the rest of the night but honestly I was happy with our decision to head back to Molly Malone’s for $1 Killians.
As we walked back to Molly Malone’s we kept talking smack to one another and bragged how much Killians we were each going to drink. As we rounded the corner we ran into a sketchy looking fellow who started talking to us about the Mad Hatter. He kept eying up my camera I had in my hand and looked to size up Kolb. For a brief moment I thought that there might have been an incident brewing up but soon realized the kid was just hammered and so was his friend who was pissing in the alley.
Molly Malone’s was packed when we got there. I bought the first round and as we drank our tiny little plastic cupped Killians we realized we would rather just go back to the hotel. Good thing we did because they closed the patio as we were finishing up and I really did not want to listen to the cover band that was playing in the pub.
Did you know that in Kentucky they stop selling alcohol at 1am at most gas stations and stores? We didn’t. We found that our rather quickly and chose to try and find a bar within walking distance to have a couple more drinks. While doing so we met up with these two guys who said they saw NOFX too. We all thought we found a sports bar but it was closed. The two guys pointed down the street to another bar they said they just came from and told us they would meet us there. After a failed attempt at buying beer at a BP we decided to head over there. The place was called Joy’s and it was DEAD.
For about an hour we sat and had drinks and started talking about 9/11 of all things. Funny what alcohol does to bring back those memories you try and not think of often. Still, it was good conversation with some of my favorite people in the world. Joy finally asked us to leave around 2:30 in the morning so we thanked her for letting us hang out at her bar and were going to call it a night – or so we thought.
Late night hunger crept up on us all. Kolb decided to go back to BP for snacks and the rest of us were going to try and fight the urge until we saw there was a White Castle right in front of our freaking hotel. We must have waited 10 minutes before we came to our senses and got out of there. During that 10 minutes we made fun of drunks who were passed out at various tables including one guy who was old enough to be my grandfather. We were not that drunk and we sure did not need stomach aches so back to the hotel we went and we grabbed some overpriced snacks at the front desk. Yum…Combos.
Saturday morning came way too soon but as much as I wanted to sleep in I knew I had to get up and start the day. What better way to start the day than an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet??? Let’s just say there is nothing like a giant Belgian waffle, a made-to-order omelette, and a pot of coffee to get your day started. I did not eat nearly as someone else who’s name I will not mention did but lets just say a dozen eggs may have been used up rather quickly…
Pete and Mary Alice wanted to check out some place called the Creation Museum that was about 20 minutes away. I will be sure to put a link RIGHT HERE once they post something on their blog about this place. From what they told me later on this place believed dinosaurs and humans coexisted and Earth was only 4000 years old. Now I am not that religious but I studied my ass off in science and history classes and spite what my folks think paid attention in Sunday school… I was not having it and did not want to go. Plus I heard they take their beliefs very seriously and if you make a mockery out of them the place will ask you to leave. I am not about to pay money only to be thrown out after three minutes from laughing my ass off.
So I dropped Pete and Mary Alice off at the Creation Museum and headed to Newport, KY with Kolb to catch a movie while they learned about dinosaurs and bibles. Kolb and I caught The Losers (I thought it was great in case you were wondering) on the big screen and then returned to the Creation Museum to pick up the happy couple. I kept my fingers crossed that they would not be in white robes waiting for me outside the establishment. Luckily they were not brainwashed when I picked them up and even bought me a bumper sticker!
Time was speeding by so we canceled our trip to Ikea and Shake-It Records in favor of having dinner with a very close friend of mine and his soon to be new family. We opted to have Thai at some mom and pop place down the street from his house. The place was frigging amazing. That might have been the best pad thai with tofu I had ever had in my life. Their sushi was less than desirable but the main encore was perfect.
I really wish we had more time to kill as we were all enjoying ourselves at dinner but we all had to head home after dinner. We said our goodbyes and headed back to Columbus. We said goodbye to Pete and Mary Alice and continued home.
It was the quickest day in history if you ask me and before I knew it the sun was setting and I was just getting on to I-76 about to get back to reality. It was a great hangout with friends that included a great punk show. I needed that…
I am already thinking about my next road trip. Gaslight Anthem in Detroit or Columbus this July anyone?