Album Review: Teenage Bottlerocket, Stealing the Covers

Teenage Bottlerocket
Stealing The Covers

I’ll always think of Teenage Bottlerocket as ‘the boys from Wyoming,” even though they’ve been knocking around now for a good 15 years.  It’s not unusual for veteran punk bands like this to take a breather from songwriting with a covers album, but these ageless pop-punkers flip the usual formula by bringing their hyper-melodic singalong style to 14 obscure tracks from barely-known bands they’ve met on the road.  If you didn’t know the concept, you probably wouldn’t guess these aren’t Bottlerocket originals;  the band’s trademark Ramones tempos and  power chords, one-note solos, and “whoa-oh-oh” gang vocals remain intact, but put to the service of catchy, witty songs from the American punk underground.  It’s hard to choose favorites because there’s isn’t a duff track here, but be sure to check out the Jukes’ “College Town,” the Four Eyes’ “Hat Nerd,”  HEAD’s Seinfeldian “No Hugging, No Learning,” and my personal pick, “Gay Parade” from high-school one-hit wonders The Gullibles.  (Fat Wreck Chords) by Jim Testa