|You probably know this much already: Teenage Bottlerocket (or simply “TBR” to their fans) is currently one of the hottest bands in punk rock and their new record, They Came From The Shadows, is highly-anticipated. But before we go any further you should probably know that they’re from Wyoming. Crazy, huh? Although more famous for its frontier forts and characters like Butch Cassidy, the “Front Range” (as it’s known to the locals) may very well be the unlikely home to the next great punk rock band. At least that’s what the kids are sayin’. But don’t take our word for it, even Alternative Press featured them as a “Band You Need To Know in 2009”… and they don’t even have those Jennifer Aniston haircuts!
Their beginnings are as humble as they come. Three friends (two of them being identical twin brothers) wanted to start a fresh, no-bullshit punk band that defied—if not openly mocked—the corny emo groups that were pervading malls, mainstream, and MySpace. They took the spirit of Midwest bands like Alkaline Trio and Dillinger Four and added the earnest sensibilities of the Ramones. It made for such an undeniably likable combination that other bands were asking themselves, “Why didn’t we think of that?” Not long after their forming, they doubled their number of vocalists and were joined by Kody, a fellow Wyoman and frontman of the beloved Lillingtons. With a solidified four-piece lineup they did a bunch of touring and two studio full lengths with Chicago label, Red Scare Industries. At this point things were happening fast for the young punks from the Cowboy State, and after playing shows with bands like the Queers, NOFX, The Falcon, and Dead To Me, they were snatched up by Fat Wreck Chords. And that’s where Teenage Bottlerocket is today. Oh, if you must know the truth, the band takes it’s name from an old spray-painted jalopy that used to cruise the streets of their hometown. Much of the time spent in those early days revolved around goofing off and carefree skateboarding, and that fun spirit is still reflected in their music today.
It’s only fitting then that the first song on their breakout record would be the hilarious and punchy “Skate or Die”; a snappy tune that gleefully references the Bones Brigade and JFA. This and the other songs that make up They Came From The Shadows are classic Bottlerocket, with an emphasis on fun times and hooky melodies. To further insure the album’s potential, this sucker was produced at Blasting Room Studios (Rise Against, Descendents, Lemonheads, etc), so you know it sounds huge and rockin’.
What will surely follow the release of their Fat Wreck debut is a bevy of touring. They’ve been to Europe multiple times, so you know they’ll be back in short order; and already booked is their first tour of Japan. Also lined up is a 2-month tour of North America this Fall with Reno’s Cobra Skulls playing support. That massive odyssey will take them all over the land and have them playing shows with The Lawrence Arms and Dead Milkmen. When Teenage Bottlerocket mobilizes their band, they go all out and truly bring it. Such is their approach to songwriting, live shows, recording, and even partying on tour.
Few things are more exciting than a young band with a great new record on a new label. Their booming, seemingly-sudden popularity is reminiscent of bands like Against Me! and Gaslight Anthem, so who knows what to expect next from these upstarts. If their unhinged live show is any indication, it won’t be for lack of trying. So stay tuned and expect nothing but continued success from these punk rock bandits. They’re certain to make Wyoming proud.
|Working their way up from the dingiest of clubs and barrooms sprawling in and across North America's borders to the stages of European festivals performing in front of thousands, Blacklist Royals have spent the last three years on the road supporting their debut full length Semper Liberi… chasing the often fleeting rock-n-roll dreams of youth like a siren song, and finding their own voice along the way.
Their long awaited follow-up album, Die Young With Me, is a testament to that. There was a very deliberate change in the writing process as twin brothers and founding members Nat and Rob Rufus entered the studio to begin going through new material with the band, and the record went on to take shape as a truly autobiographical collection of songs. Topically revolving around the personal account of a childhood spent battling cancer, the album unfolds as a fluid thing, exploring new directions both sonically and lyrically with candor and heart like never before.
Blacklist Royals will soon head back out on the roads and highways whose miles echo through each track of their new record. As production comes to a close, the album itself seems to spin like tires on faded blacktop, taking the listener on both a personal and collective journey of love and heartbreak, born rolling reckless under the star-spangled nights of America.