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.