Teenage Bottlerocket – Stay Rad! (Fat Wreck Chords)
After Teenage Bottlerocket’s collection of eclectic covers for their 2017 Stealing The Covers (cover songs from more obscure, short-lived bands), they are back with all new material on Stay Rad!. Compared to their other punctuated release, Stay Rad! Is not as brazen as Freak Out! as they explore their pop punk side.
“You Don’t Get The Joke” chimes in with their best Ramones posturing. Yet, the song’s speedy pop punk movement fits right into the Fat Wreck Chords criteria. The transition between songs are quick and Stay Rad! is to the point. “Death Kart” follows and captures a sense of uncertainty before they resort back to a Ramones vocal style built on West Coast sensibilities.
The kitsch in “Creature From the Black Metal Lagoon” is what makes this song so catchy, amping up their power chords for effect. Transfer a dose of serious ranting on “Anti-Social Media” and they attack the obvious with a heaping spoonful of infectious guitar play. It’s what Teenage Bottlerocket does best.
Teenage Bottlerocket – Everything To Me (Official Video)
“I Want To Kill Clint Carlin,” whoever Clint Carlin is, takes us back to the aggressive Freak Out! moment with speedster punk. It feels like Mr. Chi Pig took a hold of the controls and the boat is chugging out of control. They incorporate parts of Motley Crue’s “Live Wire” into the song and remind us this is punk rock. Everything we know is a farce. . . or, is it?
They end this lofty release with some Milo-influenced pop punk. “I Never Knew” grapples at human relationships with doe-eyed careless contemplation. Teenage Bottlerocket have successfully proven the hopeless romantic in them.
Not as poignant as Freak Out!, Stay Rad! has its ups and downs. Yet, for an album of this caliber there is much fun to be had.