Warning DeviceRed Scare Industries
By Bobby Gorman
I’ve been staring at this blank screen for way too long trying to figure out how to wittingly introduce this album. So long in fact that I’ve just given up because I can’t think of a good way to introduce it. Instead I’ll just say this: Teenage Bottlerocket‘s sophomore album, Warning Device, is sure to end up in many people’s year end lists; and yes, I know, it’s only January.
How can I make such a bold prediction? Well, pretty easily actually because Warning Device is that missing album that all pop-punk fans have been waiting for. It’s fun, poppy, easy to digest, catchy and, once again, fun. Yes, I said fun twice because it’s just that enjoyable.
It’s Wyoming’s answer to The Ramones, with a bit of a Lookout Records flare thrown in and a heavy Queers influence added for good measure. There’s even a touch of The Descendents and Ergs hidden in the songs too; so just from that you should know what you’re getting. It’s a catchy and energetic album that is instantly fun and enjoyable. The two vocalists alternate between songs adding a little diversity between the songs while still being able to maintain a nice flow despite the slight differences between the two And yes, they include the right amount of “woah’s” and “oh’s” too.
Without treading in any new waters, Teenage Bottlerocket cover the regular spectrum of topics found in a pop-punk album but do it in such a way that you can’t help but connect with them and love them. Songs like In The Basement and Totally Stupid are comical songs about teenage angst and being afraid of the unknown monster in the basement. Social Life can be interpreted many ways and strikes a chord with me every time I listen to it. There’s something that just clicks when they say “Yeah, I don’t have a social life. Thought I should let you know. There’s no place I want to go when I turn on the stereo.” Most of the remaining songs hit that pop-punk cliche topic of girls and relationships but once again Teenage Bottlerocket hit it right on the nose in such a way that you can’t scoff at the lyrics but instead soon sing along with them.
The most astonishing aspect of the album is how crystal clear it sounds throughout. While it’s not always the most complex structure, it always sounds great. Three chord pop-punk with the occasional guitar solo thrown in at the bridge and constant Ramones style drumming, Teenage Bottlerocket are able to do more than most bands despite stripping it down to the bare necessities. Plus, with Jason Livermore’s masterful hand behind the knobs, there’s no way it could possibly sound better.
There may be no big surprises or anything like that, but that’s a good thing. Warning Device is a pop-punk record through and through and one that will keep me entertained for the remaining eleven months of the year and probably for some time after that.