If Teenage Bottlerocket’s newest record “Freak Out!” were a pickup line, this is probably how it would go:
“Do you like fun? How about music? I like those things too! We should totally hang out!”
If you are looking for a deeply meaningful or important relationship with your musical choices, this is probably not the record for you. There is no introspection here, no relevant social commentary on how fucked we all are, and no heartbreaking odes to girlfriends past, unless those girlfriends happened to be undead. This is the musical equivalent of the ditzy blonde with the nice tits who you wouldn’t dream of a serious relationship with, but you’ll keep going out with anyway because she’s just fun, and what’s better is this record will never want to have a “but where is this going?” conversation. It will always be available for a spin at 2am when all your other records have left you flat.
No matter how fucked we are (and we are, so very much so), it’s good that there are good records like this to put on and just rock out. Besides the aforementioned ditty about zombie girlfriends, this record also features songs about comic book conventions of the dead, being Maverick from Top Gun, and metal dudes who headbang so hard they give themselves a concussion and the narrator a headache, etc. etc. you get the point. It may seem superficial at first glance, but there is a talent to writing lyrics like this, and these guys have it in spades.
Like a Phenomenauts or a Boris the Sprinkler record, these thirty-five minutes of loud guitars and catchy hooks won’t change the world, but they don’t give a shit about that anyway. I envy them for that, and will keep spinning this one to try and remind myself that maybe sometimes I just need to follow Teenage Bottlerocket’s advice and just “Go With the Flow”.
Four Stars.Add Teenage Bottlerocket to My Radar