Reviews Teenage Bottlerocket American Deutsch Bag

Teenage Bottlerocket

American Deutsch Bag

I never learned German in high school, but Teenage Bottlerocket must have because their latest 7’’ is a nod to the punk side of the German language. It's been nearly a year and this is still the most currently release from Teenage Bottlerocket. People didn’t seem to expect much from it, and still don’t, unless you’re one of those middle-aged dudes who has a basement full of fat wreck rare records that you probably love more than your wife and kids. Though, that’s besides the point. As band, Bottlerocket can be underestimated, and so American Deutsch Bag sort of fell through the cracks. Records like this have importance though, not just for music in general, but for the growth of a band. Music nerds get ready, I’m about to break it down for you (Get it? I’m going to breakdown. In the middle of this album review. Okay, I’m done with jokes forever now).

American Deutsch Bag has two cover songs and an original track, which not shockingly, the original track "I’m the One Smoking Marijuana Motherfucker" is about marijuana. First off, songs about marijuana are never going to stop. Ever. So people can complain about how it’s immature and shows a lack of growth with the band, but I can easily see this song integrated into any of Bottlerocket’s full lengths. Teenage Bottlerocket has never been a band about breaking boundaries or showing maturity; I mean, isn’t that the beauty of Teenage Bottlerocket? I can blast their songs in my car with the windows down and feel like I’m the coolest person driving (and get bonus points for when I hit a red light and pull up next to a cop). Bottlerocket represents that cool factor; they are like your friend’s cool older brother who doesn’t have a job, smokes weed all day, and sleeps on his mother’s couch, but at the end of the day, he’s the coolest person to hang out with. You don’t expect maturity from a band like this, but you can sure as hell can expect fun.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you can never expect Bottlerocket to get better as a band. To me, that’s what the cover songs represent. Bottlerocket is pushing themselves as a band, they are expanding their abilities and putting their take on songs that already exist. I don't think we can expect Bottlerocket to suddenly mature and get sentimental, but would any of us really want that? I want catchy songs about weird shit and for them to stick within this realm of music that they rule in. Their cover of "Via Munich" is beautifully done on this 7'' with a touching nod to the great Tony Sly. "Ich bin Ausländer und Spreche Nicht Gut Deutsch" is yet another song I can easily see integrated into their catalog of songs, and even if you have no idea what they are saying, it's still got that Bottlerocket catchiness.

I know some people aren’t fans of cover songs, I personally love them, but in all honestly I’d rather have cover songs be released than original songs that are poorly constructed and rushed. If a band is stuck, or wants to try something new, a cover songs seems like the right idea. For those reasons, I don’t think Bottlerocket made a poor choice in releasing the two covers. Learning someone else’s music is hard in itself, but doing it any justice, that takes talent. In that sense I commend Teenage Bottlerocket for being their usual selves, having fun, and just not trying too hard. You’re always cooler when you aren’t trying so hard—and Bottlerocket are so good at pulling that off.

6.0 / 10Kristen Swanson
KFAI - Roar of the Underground
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6.0 / 10

6.0 / 10

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