Teenage Bottlerocket

Stay Rad!

Written by: PP on 23/12/2019 22:58:29

Seven albums down and Teenage Bottlerocket are stubbornly churning away at the same ol' no-frills pop punk as they always have. "Stay Rad!", their first record in four years, is both a blessing and a curse if you're a Bottlerocket fan, because it deviates exactly zero degrees from their past output, aside from maybe doubling down on the silly department ("I Wanna Be A Dog" is literally about wanting to be a dog and humping the owner when he comes home). If that's what you want from the band, it's all good, but a little more creativity and even hints of adjustment to their bright, simplistic power chords are direly needed at this point. But what do I know? Maybe I just "don't get the joke" anymore like I used to.

It's not that the songs on "Stay Rad!" are awful. In fact, they're about in the same "let's party, drink beers and have fun in a circle pit"-good category as "Tales From Wyoming", which is to say it's better than "Freak Out" but worse than "They Came From The Shadows". The problem is, both the jokes and the sound is getting stale even for the most hardened of no-frills pop punk fans. The same mid-to-high tempo chords over and over again with the same vocal style is starting to make it impossible to distinguish songs from the different albums. "Creature From The Black Metal Lagoon" is where this manifests properly: the song is neither infectious nor funny, just appearing as filler material between "Night Of The Knuckleheads" and "Anti-Social Media", despite taking stabs at Deafheaven for some reason. The same applies to the heavier "The First Time That I Did Acid Was The Last Time That I Did Acid". We've heard the band try this style before, but the song just isn't that interesting in the end.

The red thread throughout "Stay Rad!" is inconsistency. Some songs are every bit as catchy and hilarious as sing-along no-frills pop punk should be. But there's an equal amount of Bottlerocket-on-autopilot songs that come across as stale and meaningless in the grand scheme of things (meaning: the punk scene). At this point, it's hard to see how they would be able to raise the bar and deliver another pop punk classic in the future. Maybe this is all there is to Bottlerocket? Tight riffs, a few catchy choruses, and juvenile humour. It'll take them this far but no further.

Download: You Don't Get The Joke, I Wanna Be A Dog, I'll Kill You Tomorrow
For the fans of: Frenzal Rhomb, The Murderburgers, The Copyrights, The Dopamines
Listen: Facebook

Release date 15.03.2019
Fat Wreck Chords

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