Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Album Review: Teenage Bottlerocket - Freak Out!

Freak Out!, Teenage Bottlerocket's fifth full length album, continues in the same vein as the rest of the band's discography. Short, fast songs about girls, monsters, metalheads and b-movie styled revenge. It does little to show any musical progression from Total (2005), Warning Device (2008) or They Came from the Shadows (2009), but why would anyone want that from Teenage Bottlerocket? If they changed up their formula now, that would make them even more like the Ramones... and we all know how that worked out.
[Note: Animal Boy is actually one of my favorite Ramones albums. I might even rank it higher than Road to Ruin. So maybe if TBR also aped the shift in sound, it wouldn't be the end of the world]

This is kind of a lame review, but what else is there isn't much else to say about Freak Out!. Either you love the style, or you don't. There sure are some great songs on here though. "Headbanger" is a re-recording of a song by Sack, an old band featuring the Carlisle brothers and Kody Templeman. "Maverick" is a love song set to lyrics with direct ties to Top Gun. "Necrocomicon" turns the Neconomicon (from the Evil Dead series) into a comic book, while still being just as evil. "Who Killed Sensei?" takes the age old tale of finding one's master slain and seeking revenge on the guilty party. If that kind of stuff doesn't sound appealing to you, you're probably not much of a fan of the band's previous albums either.

There is one complaint that I have with the album: two of the fourteen tracks ("Mutilate Me" and "Punk House of Horror") were previously released on last year's Mutilate Me EP. They aren't even different recordings, they're the same versions. It's been three years since TBR has released a studio album, so it's a little disappointing that those songs couldn't have stayed EP exclusive while Freak Out! contained fourteen brand new songs... but hey! Beggars can't be choosers. At least they're good songs.

If there's anything at all that could have been guaranteed in 2012, it's that Teenage Bottlerocket would still sound like Teenage Bottlerocket. And they have delivered that guarantee.

RIYL: Ramones, Lillingtons, The Evil Dead Trilogy

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