It would take a lot to one-up Teenage Bottlerocket’s last release, Total, but Warning Device measures up with its catchy Ramones influenced hooks and songs about girls, not having a social life, fear of the basement, and wasting time.
When recording this record there were some minor things the guys wanted to improve from Total, but overall went into the studio with no plan of attack. “Just some things that we weren’t happy with with Total that we wanted to improve,” said singer, songwriter, and guitarist Ray Carlisle. “As far as writing the songs are concerned, we just wrote them the same exact way we wrote Total, and so the approach was a little different as far as the way we actually did the recording. Brendan [Carlisle, drummer] went in and recorded his drums before any of us went to the studio, so the drums were completely done when we all got there. There’s a couple little differences as far as the technique used to record, but as far as an approach or did we have a certain objective of writing this record, we just wrote songs and there wasn’t really anything in-mind,”
The album starts out with “Bottlerocket,” the perfect opening track, with fast guitars and fist pounding anthems of “bottlerocket!” Simple enough, but a good lead into “In the Basement,” with a danceable beat and lyrics about the fear of the dark, creepy basement most people have experienced at one time or another. Although there are a lot of songs about to quote Kris Roe of the Ataris, how “girls are fucking evil,” there is a good share of positive love songs on the new record.
“Most of the songs on the new record are about girls, past relationships, and everyday life” explains Carlisle. “I threw in Anna’s Song on the new record, it’s like my only positive girl song on the record and she’s my wife. Just going into recording, I realized at the last minute that all my girl songs are negative girl songs, so we wanted to throw one in the mix.”
Warning Device is really catchy with simple, relatable songs, but the band’s previous release, Total, probably still reigns supreme as their best album. Bottlerocket is recommended for fans of the Queers, Screeching Weasel, and the Ramones. Songs worth checking out include “Crawling Back to You,” “Gave You My Heart,” and “Social Life.”

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