Consider me a born-again Teenage Bottlerocket super-fan after obsessing Stay Rad!, the band’s latest release.
These Wyoming punkers just did it right in a whooping 33 minutes and the result was me playing this album over and over for a solid week desperately trying to memorize every lyric so I could sing along.
Once again, the band is on Fat Wreck Chords and have dropped what I feel is one of their best efforts in a long time. The thing I liked the most about this one was that their songs were happy, sad, damaging, adorning, funny, and just real. Add that to solid, catchy punk rock tunes throughout and it’s easy to understand why I can’t get enough of this album.
I’ll just get to the point with this review that pretty much had me in tears while listening to it. “Everything To Me”, an ode to Ray Carlisle’s son Milo, punched me right in the heart over and over. This track stopped me in my tracks the moment I heard it and of course had me gushing over my son while seemingly agreeing with everything Ray had to say about how amazing his kid was. I’ll never stop listening to this total dad rock track. I can’t wait to play it for my boy when he’s just a little bit older.
“Night of the Knuckleheads” was like a Misfits track, but pop-punk and fun. “Creature From the Black Metal Lagoon” was like a Dio song, but not really. It was however, kind of a solid track to listen to even if they did bash on Deafhaven.
More like something a reformed GG Allen might sing about in a diaper, “The First Time That I Did Acid Was the Last Time That I Did Acid” was a little raw and unordinary at the start but my god it was so true. I could only imaging some of the people I used to watch have bad trips back in the 90s. Do people even do acid anymore?
“Stupid Song” really was not that stupid at all. It was pretty much a day in the life of anyone out there who utilizes music to block all the shit the real world dishes out.
“Little Kid” was a somber track Ray wrote about his brother who, as most of you reading this are well aware of, passed in 2015. This track was tough to listen to but just so important and I am glad Ray did it. I hope it gave him, and the band for that matter, some well needed closure.
Album closer “I Never Knew”, the only track written for a girl, was written by yogi extraordinaire and bassist Miguel Chen. File this track under punk rock love songs to be added to future mixes. This one was not cheesy at all and clearly an honest track.
As much as I hate to even say this, but these guys are the modern-day Ramones and Riverdales that everyone needs. They do it on their own accord and have no problem jumping from seriousness to silly in two minutes flat. They have been through hell after losing a brother/drummer and easily could have hung it all up. Instead, they refused to give it up in a blatant honor to their fallen bandmate by releasing Stay Rad!