The Bottle Rockets
South Broadway Athletic Club
The Finest Purveyors of Sonic-Country are Back With a Vengeance!
When I first saw the Bottle Rockets at the Jumping Hot Club we still thought of this music as Country-Rock; but we all knew it was something a lot edgier and creative than anything coming out of California; didn’t we?
Here we are with the bands 12th album and it is still every bit as edgy and creative as anything I remember that steamy night on Newcastle Quayside.
My ears pricked up as the intro to first track Monday (Every time I Turn Around) was the distinctive sound of a Rickenbacker geetar; something I don’t associate with the Bottle Rockets. Apparently it is Brian Henneman’s new toy and it sure sounds like he cherishes it. The song itself is about the weekend flying by faster the older we get and I’m pleased to say Henneman’s voice sounds as cool and ragged as ever.
The classic Bottle Rockets ‘sound’ is here in all its glory on several songs – Something Good and the excellent Building Chryslers; which is full of dirty guitar licks that mask a blue collar protest song.
Henneman’s Rickenbacker makes a couple more appearances which take the band into un-charted but interesting Country territory; with Shape of a Wheel and Big Lotsa Love being the best examples and the latter song surely destined for any future ‘Best Of’ collection.
A bit leftfield for the Bottle Rockets but I love the accordion and acoustic based stomper Smile. I don’t know why; but it really does make you Smile. What more can you ask for?
Had to go back to Dog several times to detect what it was ‘really about’ but no; it simply as a song where he sings about his love for his dog – very Lovin’ Spoonful in my humble opinion.
Best of the bunch? It’s really difficult but the English Powerpop influenced XOYOU is a toe-tapping beauty that I’ve put onto a mixtape-CD for my wife.
So there you have it; the Bottle Rockets are back and the world is a better place for it!
Released October 2nd 2015