Let’s get something out of the way before discussing one of the best pop-punk albums to hit the newsroom in some time: Yes, Teenage Bottlerocket is a lot like the Ramones. And yes, that point becomes sort of obvious when you hear track two on Warning Device, “In the Basement,” a direct descendant of the Ramones’ 1976 debut album track, “I Don’t Wanna Go Down to the Basement.”
But derivation doesn’t matter here as much as attitude and ability. The Laramie, Wyo., foursome—with old ties, by the way, to Volumen—cranks out 13 throwback punk tracks on Warning Device, none longer than 2:29. And each one is a party. There’s “She’s Not the One,” in which “one” becomes “ah-oh-oh-oh-oh-one” and almost no other lyrics appear. “Totally Stupid,” a song about abject boredom, does nothing but thrill with a breakneck pace. “Gave You My Heart” goes soft lyrically—“I gave you my heart, so baby please don’t tear it apart”—but never loses the band’s contagious momentum.
I can’t get Warning Device off the headphones. Shades of punk’s past abound (including the Lillingtons, singer/guitarist Kody Templeman’s former outfit), but never overshadow TBR’s authentic intent. There’s a lot to like here, with the only complaint being the end comes way too fast. (Skylar Browning)
Teenage Bottlerocket plays the Palace Tuesday, March 25, at 10 PM. Volumen and Rooster Sauce open. Cover TBA.