Teenage Bottlerocket, with their ninth album - Sick Sesh!
It’s hard to believe pogo punks Teenage Bottlerocket (or TBR as the kids call them) formed over two decades ago. They’ve toured the world countless times. They kept the leather jacket-and-Converse look alive through an increasingly neon landscape. They’ve written songs about KISS, Top Gun and Minecraft. Hell, they’ve even been on CNN a few times! So please welcome back to the spotlight Wyoming’s own Teenage Bottlerocket, with their ninth album, the 12-track Sick Sesh!
Recorded in November 2020 at the Blasting Room (the band’s eighth straight full-length with producer Andrew Berlin), Sick Sesh! is deliberately rougher around the edges than the last few TBR albums. From the haunting “Statistic” to the panic-inducing “Strung Out on Stress” to the buzzsaw lead of “Semi Truck.” While the bulk of Sick Sesh! was written in January 2020 (with “Statistic” actually co-written between Carlisle and his son Milo), the COVID pandemic allowed for the band to take a little extra time for fine-tuning, and the resulting tracks are some of the most stylistically diverse on the record. First up, there’s the Kody Templeman(vocals/guitar)-penned “Strung Out on Stress,” the fastest, angriest track on Sick Sesh!, all about losing your mind during the pandemic. On the flip side, there’s the mid-tempo, melodic track “The Squirrel,” written by bassist Miguel Chen and sung by Templeman, that’s literally about a cute little rodent. Miguel also wrote the infectious singalong “Ghost Story” and the album-closing “Moving On,” which marks the first time Ray Carlisle(vocals/guitar) has ever sung Chen’s lyrics on a Teenage Bottlerocket album. The song, about the bassist’s decision to move from his hometown of Laramie, Wyoming, to Texas to be with his ailing father, demonstrates a new side of Teenage Bottlerocket that’s reflective, wistful, and dare we say a little mature.
For fans of Ramones, Screeching Weasel, Descendents, The Queers and The Lillingtons