Teenage Bottlerocket – Stay Rad! (Album Review)

Teenage Bottlerocket – Stay Rad!
Released: March 15th, 2019

Lineup:

Ray Carlisle // guitar and vocals
Kody Templeman // guitar and vocals
Miguel Chen // bass
Darren Chewka // drums

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After the death of Brandon Carlisle, former drummer and twin brother of vocalist/guitarist Ray Carlisle, Teenage Bottlerocket have only released one album Stealing The Covers, an album full of (unsurprisingly) covers. Stay Rad!, their first album of original material since 2015, is what one would expect from a Teenage Bottlerocket album, tongue firmly in cheek, short, fast to midtempo songs with a dollop of 80’s punk rock.

Opening with ‘You Don’t Get The Joke’ the refrain repeated throughout, the song is punchy and catchy with its simplicity, which perhaps is part of the joke? ‘Death Kart’s guitar riff and drums reflect the skate punk rock sensibilities, while the vocals lean more towards a rock tone ala Matt Skiba. An 80’s postpunk vibe is evoked during ‘Everything To Me’, while first single ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’ follows, an amusing song comparing a man’s desire for his woman, to that of a dog. ‘Night of the Knuckleheads’ uses a subtle synthesiser in the background to give the song another dimension, telling the story of a night out. ‘Creature From The Black Metal Lagoon’ has it’s tongue firmly in its cheek while simultaneous ripping off and paying homage to Norwegian black metal. Following is ‘Anti-Social Media’, with its punchy, nasal vocals and rolling drum beat. Returning to full blown humour with ‘Wild Hair (Across My Ass)’, while ‘First Time That I Did Acid Was The Last Time That I Did Acid’ brings back the dirty, gritty late 70’s, early 80’s punk sound.

‘I Want To Kill Clint Carlin’ is a homage (of sorts) to the band’s long time roadie, which segues into ‘I’ll Kill You Tomorrow’ a song with a little less humour, but with similar themes. ‘Stupid Song’ encapsulates the feeling of the day to day drudgery and how music alleviates the doldrums. It’s simplistic lyrics and overall message certainly relates to those in their teen years, or us oldies who are full of angst and boredom. The penultimate song ‘Little Kid’ is perhaps the most poignant, about Ray’s brother. The album ends with ‘I Never Knew’ a love song with sincerity and a bouncy chorus.

Teenage Bottlerocket are one of those punk bands whose songs incorporate different subsets of punk rock but are always decisively Teenage Bottlerocket. For that reason, fans of the band will be excited and happy about their 8th album, while punk fans who haven’t (for whatever reason) totally jumped on the TBR bandwagon will enjoy the album but it won’t turn them into superfans.

teenage bottlerocket - stay rad album

Teenage Bottlerocket – Stay Rad! tracklisting

1. You Don’t Get the Joke
2. Death Kart
3. Everything to Me
4. I Wanna Be a Dog
5. Night of the Knuckleheads
6. Creature from the Black Metal Lagoon
7. Anti-Social Media
8. Wild Hair (Across My Ass)
9. The First Time That I Did Acid Was the Last Time That I Did Acid
10. I Want to Kill Clint Carlin
11. I’ll Kill You Tomorrow
12. Stupid Song
13. Little Kid
14. I Never Knew

Rating: 6/10
Stay Rad!
is out March 15th via Fat Wreck Chords. Pre-Order here
Review by Carys Hurcom @CarysWos

teenage bottlerocket band

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