There is something to be said for brevity, in music as in life. Case in point: In the time it took me to put that sentiment to words and type it out, an entire song on the latest CD by Teenage Bottlerocket raced past. These guys know something that all too few bands recognize: It’s better to move on too quickly than to overstay your welcome.
Three chords and out: That’s the formula on the vast majority of the band’s songs. The record, titled “Warning Device,” may list thirteen tracks on its cover; but you could listen to more than half the record in the time it takes to read this preview.
It’s not that they don’t have anything to say. In fact, the band manages to shoehorn some of the tightest hooks I’ve heard in years into their musical microcosms. “She’s Not the One” is basically nothing but the hook; aside from repeating the title of the song over and over in peppy harmony, the only elaboration offered by singer Kody Templeman is, “Fed up with make-believe affection, I won’t pretend to be in love.” That’s it.
“Bottlerocket,” the album’s first track and a fitting anthem for the band, clocks at less than a minute, speed-freaking through an off-kilter distortion-guitar riff as Templeman sings a single stanza twice: “Got an empty bottle in my pocket / And things are about to explode / Fire up the fuse and run away / Watch the bottle rocket go.”
No, it’s not particularly deep or poetic. But despite the grinding of distorted guitars and the pounding of the drums, it goes down as easily as a Hershey’s Kiss.
The band comes to
Teenage Bottlerocket plays the Palace Lounge on March 25 along with Rooster Sauce and Volumen.