Album Review: Teenage Bottlerocket – “Mutilate Me”

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Teenage Bottlerocket released a brand-spankin’ new 7-inch, lovingly entitled “Mutilate Me,” this week (April 12th, to be exact), and it finds TBR picking up right where “They Came From The Shadows” left off. “Mutilate Me” clocks in at five-and-a-half minutes of pure pop punk performed the way it should be, and showcases TBR continuing their meteoric rise from the mean streets of Wyoming. Teenage Bottlerocket continue to prove that you don’t need to be from the Lower East Side or the East Bay to be able to pull off great pop punk music: Short, uptempo songs, call and response style lyrics, catchy guitar hooks, plenty of oozin’ ahhs.

According to the band, the A-side title track from this Fat Wreck-released EP’s is about “preferring things a little rough in the bedroom.” It is infectiously poppy enough that you may catch yourself singing “I want you to/Dominate me, I want you to/Violate me” under your breath while in the checkout line at the grocery store. Just remember to use your inside voice.

The first of the album’s B-sides is “Punk House Of Horror.” Shades of early Alkaline Trio, the song is appropriately poppy and fast-paced. One wonders if the song is a reference to label boss/touring partner Fat Mike’s new Vegas pad. The second B-side is a cover of Bad Religion’s “Henchman.” Generally speaking, I get a little apprehensive when newer bands cover songs by some of the punk scene’s stalwarts, but TBR definitely do justice to the original; they prove more than capable of pulling off a proper homage to the piss-and-vinegar of the original while leaving their own fingerprints all over the song. As such, it is a little less poppy than traditional TBR, but a solid, respectable cover nonetheless.

In the ultimate sign of a well-made 7-inch, “Mutilate Me” left me hoping for much more new material from Teenage Bottlerocket. We should be so lucky!

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