Written by: Andrea Janov, CC2K Music Editor
As I am sure that you have all noted from reading my reviews on CC2K, I love pop punk. The old school sugary pop punk. It seems like today pop punk has an entirely different connotation, but when I think of it it is nothing but the awesomeness of bands like Mr. T Experience, Screeching Weasel, The Descendents, ALL, The Queers, The Dead Milkmen, The Ramones, and NOFX (okay, I’m sure you get the point). For those of you who are not familiar with Teenage Bottlerocket, they are a group of guys who are strongly carrying on the sound of what pop punk should be.
Teenage Bottlerocket formed in 2001 in Wyoming and Freak Out! is fifth full length, and they just keep getting better. Freak Out! covers both sides of pop punk, it is full of pop culture references (Top Gun, Star Wars, Star Trek, and the Living Dead) and still has time for the relationship tracks. They even throw in a few songs that provide commentary on the crust punks and most pits. I love that each one of these songs has its own personality yet the album’s sound is so perfectly cohesive.
The album kicks off with the title track, Freak Out! which gets us pumped for the rest of the album. Track two, Headbanger, (which now is totally an awesome video) is just as clever as it catchy and I can imagine a fabulous super cheesy 80s style music video going along with it. I have said it before, I love that pop punk can get away with being a bit inappropriate with their lyrics. Apparently Teenage Bottlerocket feels the same way and they have addressed that sentiment with the lines, “You bet I’m getting creepy” and “There’s a chance that I’m straight up pervin’”. They kinda broke the fourth wall here and I love it.
Necrocomicon, is not only the catchiest song on Freak Out! but it is also the most clever, “The comic book of the dead”. It is catchy and fun, it will get you moving and laughing…man, it still has me smiling. I dare you to listen to this track and not love these guys. Done With Love is a great break up song that will get stuck in your head in an empowering “f’ love” type of way and Summertime is indeed the perfect song to listen to as you are driving around with your windows down. Never Going to Tell You is the song that you would put on your crush’s mix tape. Come on, love and zombies, that would have scored points with me when I was a teenager (and well, it would even now). Hands down my favorite track on the album.
Over all verdict is, I love this album. Freak Out! is a super high energy album that was made for summer time. (Doesn’t all pop punk just get even better when the weather is warm?) These guys know how to have a great time and want you to have a great time too.
Freak Out! is out now on Fat Wreck Chords, you can download a copy of Maverick from the site before you buy the album (so go do that and keep in mind that isn’t even the best song on the album). Also, they are currently on tour, so get off your ass, go to a local show, and rock out with these guys, you won’t be sorry.