They Came From The ShadowsFat Wreck Chords
By Bobby Gorman
In a recent interview, Bad Religion‘s Greg Graffin talked about how the sound of punk has become a somewhat traditional sound now. Rather than condemn the fact, Graffin praised it as he felt it helped give up and coming bands a platform to start with and build on. Throughout all the years of punk rock, I don’t think any band has left their mark on that punk rock platform as much as The Ramones have and to this day you still hear their spastic three-chord attack in new pop-punk songs released every year. Teenage Bottlerocket, while far from being a new, up and coming band since they already have four albums and countless EPs under their belts, are one of the many bands who still use that Ramones pop-punk platform.
On their Fat Wreck Chords debut and follow-up to last year’s highly successful and critically acclaimed Warning Device album, Teenage Bottlerocket deliver yet another fast paced and thoroughly enjoyable pop-punk album. Filled with anthemic chants, nasally vocals and power-chords galore, They Came From The Shadows displays a perfect use of the Ramones song structure all the while merging in elements from the likes of The Descendents (particularly on the comical Fatso Goes Nutzoid), The Parasites, Screeching Weasel and The Queers.
As a whole, the album does definitely feel safe. It’s rare that they pull anything in from out of left field and instead simply stick to what they know best which makes a few songs fall into the background – The Jerk and They Came From The Shadows being perfect examples of that; but as a whole, They Came From The Shadows is simultaneously entertaining and energizing.
From the opening skate chant of Skate Or Die to the self-aggrandizing Bigger Than Kiss, Teenage Bottlerocket continually churn out catchy songs from start to finish. It’s clear that the band is having fun as they sing about relationships gone wrong for more than half the album, but rather than becoming repetitive, they inject the overused subject matter with a fresh face and new attitude.
As far as Ramones-core pop-punk goes, Teenage Bottlerocket are at the forefront of the genre. It’s not life-changing and can, occasionally, be predictable but at the same time it’s fun and incredibly tight which is hard to complain about.