Published Nov 17, 2009With their undeniably captivating melodies, enthusiastic pace and general adherence to four chords, it's no wonder that Wyoming pop punks Teenage Bottlerocket have been called Ramones clones over their six-year history. Sure, there's a sense of Screeching Weasel playing the Ramones tunes to All but that's also its most redeeming aspect. In a day and age where most bands are desperately struggling to reinvent the wheel, on their fourth full-length/Fat Wreck debut, Teenage Bottlerocket eschew grandiose gestures in favour of getting to the point. The end result is a collection of songs that blisters with expediency and passion yet is disgustingly catchy thanks to sugary harmonies and ingenious choruses. Still, while tracks such as opener "Skate Or Die" are perfect fodder for the next Tony Hawk game, the band ventures into almost Misfits-esque territory with the dark, apocalyptic "Forbidden Planet," yet deliver a scathing, tongue-in-cheek riff on Kiss, and mention Slayer in the process, on "Bigger Than Kiss." It's well-rounded, intelligent music that embraces formative elements, resulting in a powerful kick of ardent rock'n'roll. It might be derivative but this affair is also an unforgettably inspired contribution to the world of underground pop punk not tainted by music television, where leather jackets and disintegrating Chuck Taylors are standard issue.
You usually take about three years between albums but this one came out after just a year-and-a-half. Why so fast?
Guitarist/vocalist Ray Carlisle: We signed to Fat and it's a dream come true. We went in to record as soon as we could ― strike while the iron's hot. We've got the best of both worlds. [Former label] Red Scare and Fat are both working on our behalf. It helps things progress overall with this much support.
Did your sound have enough time to evolve with such a quick turnaround between albums?
I think so. Over the last three albums, we've written some songs that are considered unorthodox. More so on this record, because we've broken out of the Ramones template. We'll always write "one, two, three, four" songs that we love to play but we don't feel restricted by that genre. With this album, more than the others, there were no restrictions. Songs like "Bigger Thank Kiss" and "Forbidden Planet" aren't your run-of-the-mill Teenage Bottlerocket songs, but we're not afraid to do that. "Bigger Than Kiss" has the best lyrics Kody [Templeman, guitarist/vocalist] has ever written.
He does mention Kerry King!
Exactly, but we get people asking who Kerry King is. They just don't get it. (Fat Wreck)