What can be said about Teenage Bottlerocket that hasn’t been repeated to death? As one of the best current bands in the deep history of pop punk, most discussion of them turns to comparisons of bands from the past. More or less, Teenage Bottlerocket is a Ramones style pop punk band rooted in the old Lookout Records sound of yore. They aren’t reinventing the wheel, but they sure are fun.
Freak Out! is Teenage Bottlerocket’s fourth full length, and second on the mighty Fat Wreck Chords. Honestly, anything on this record could have just as well been on any of their older releases. There is nothing more I could want, especially after the generally lackluster They Came From The Shadow.
This record is a blast of tight and catchy pop punk. Nothing on here takes itself too seriously. “Headbanger” is about dudes at heavy metal parties headbanging (and the danger therein). “Necrocomicon” is fantastic and almost sounds like a straight up Lillingtons’ song, given the tongue in cheek horror reference (“the comic book of the dead / the comic not to be fucked with / the comic not to be read”). “In The Pit” is a great song about how dumb mosh pits are, so that is great. Worth noting is the lack of genre staple love songs. I mean, yeah, there are still like three such songs. But three out of 14 is a pretty small ratio given the genre. While I am a sucker for a good pop punk love song, it is actually pretty refreshing to see it.
Long story short, everything you would want on a Teenage Bottlerocket record is here. I guess the fact that there are two songs from their Mutilate Me 7″ on here (“Mutilate Me” and “Punk House Of Horror”) is kind of a bummer. But, as someone who doesn’t have that 7″, I certainly can’t complain. Other than that, this record is fantastic. So, yeah.