Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Album Review: Tales From Wyoming by Teenage Bottlerocket

Ramones-core pop punk is a genre that is very much on the rise. In America there are bands like Masked Intruder and Teenage Bottlerocket making names for themselves, here in the United Kingdom The Murderburgers are doing very well for themselves. Earlier this year Teenage sixth - Tales From Wyoming. It amazes me that this band are already on their sixth album after only forming in 2001. I checked out Tales Of Wyoming.

The opening to the first song In My Head is a nice little metaphor to what Teenage Bottlerocket are all about, short, fun catchy pop punk that will get stuck in your head. From the first second of the song the chorus shouts "In My Head, You're In My, In My Head." Straight away the Wyoming based four piece have set out their statement of intent for the album. I Found The One slows things down a bit and see's former Lillington Kody Templemen take lead vocal duties. As you can probably guess from the title this is a love song. Kody sings about finding the girl of his dreams. Lyrically it's incredibly childish but also very entertaining. Lines such as "The Star Of My Wet Dreams" and "And I'm So Horny I Just Don't Know What To Do, And Now My Balls Are Turning Blue" are not going to win the band any song writing awards but they will put smiles on many a face. The third song is named Nothing Else Matters (When I'm With You) is another love song, this time sung by front man Ray Carlisle. It's another played at a mid tempo pace that we're not that accustomed to with Teenage Bottlerocket. The line "When We Were Sticking Up For Jason Newsted, That's When You Said You Loved....And Justice For All" is a reference to a much maligned Metallica album.

They Call Me Steve was one of the stand out songs on my first listen to the album. Starting out with a solid drum beat before some trademark Bottlerocket guitar tones the song is about the rediculously popular game Minecraft. The chorus is infectious and I imagine it gives anyone named Steve a real buzz when they hear it played live. Dead Saturday is a much darker (though still fairly light-hearted) song than the opening four songs on the album. It's about a zombie apocalypse....obviously. It tells the story of being attacked by an army of zombies attacking your house. Lovely bit of horror pop punk. Cockroach Strikes Again is another darker feeling track. This time Kody is singing about a mass murderer who keeps getting away his crimes. Whoever said all pop punk songs are about not getting the girl? This is another slower track. I'm enjoying this as it's good to see that the band are able to change up their sound a bit rather than just playing as fast as they can all of the time. I love how the drums, guitars and vocals are all played with different melodies on the seventh track It's Been Too Long. Another stand out song on the first listen, it's a chance for Kody, Ray, Miguel and Brandon to show off what fine musicians they are.

Too Much Collina is a classic Teenage Bottlerocket song. It's played fast and makes you want to bang your head for the entire two minutes and 9 seconds of the song. The song is about the super serious subject of eating too much pizza, a problem we all have. Can't Quit You is a song about falling for someone massively and not being able to get them out of your head, we've all been there. Ray sings about being able to quit everything in life, from drugs to skateboarding to fast food but not being able to forget that certain someone. This is a good fast paced song which I predict gets a great reaction from a live crowd. Haunted House is a song that the band released a music video for to help promote the album. Here the band go back to the science fiction/horror genre of pop punk music. Other than the story of the song makes for a cool video I didn't originally thing that this was a great choice of song to help promote Tales From Wyoming as I thought it was quite a weak song compared to the high standards set on previous albums. But I have to say that it is without a doubt a grower and now puts a smile on my face every time I listen to it. 

Bullshit is a short blast of pop punk aggression. It feels like there is some real venom in Ray's voice as he calls out the people who talk rubbish and lie a lot. It's only a short minute and a half song but it definitely does the job. Certainly a case of less is more is displayed on this song. I Wanna Die is another stand out track from Tales Of Wyoming. The intro is everything we've come to love from Teenage Bottlerocket. It's fast and loud and really gets you pumped up for the fast approaching song. In this song Ray is very very dark and is singing about giving up on life. As subject matters go I can't imagine getting much blacker but the song is done is such a way it's hard not to have a good time with the track. The penultimate track is called TV Set and it see's the band slow things down again. This is a great song about fear mongering in the media, and how you should ignore it. Tales From Wyoming finishes in a very surprising away with a really stripped back acoustic track. I believe the first time that I heard the song I had iTunes on shuffle and when it came on I had no idea it was on shuffle. Named First Time it is an emotional song that really pulls on the heart strings and is a great way to finish the album.

Teenage Bottlerocket will never be accused of reinventing theit sound when it comes to putting out albums. Bu when they consistently put out such great albums why on earth would they?

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Now listening to Easy Target by Stay Clean Jolene

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