Sound — 4
Pop-punk in the fashion of Screeching Weasel, or the Ramones is a much celebrated genre of music, which even the best of us cannot help but like. Teenage Bottlerocket somehow manage to eliminate any respect the listener has for the genre with this collection of rip offs, filler, and well, even more filler. The typical formula to the genre is an ever present on this album. The palm muted verse climax in an impotent chorus, before the over-produced guitar tones return to their almost stagnant state of palm muting. The drums are typical, resorting to simplistic beats, which only serve to lull the listener into suicidal thoughts, and that is before listening to the unfortunately irksome guitar solos, which are typically minimalist and well, boring. In fact the most challenging section of the sound is to stay awake for long enough to hear anything. Teenage Bottlerocket have managed to replicate the punk pop sound and formula so well that they will of course be able to sell copies of this album to the hoards who somehow want to listen to music so unimaginative that it could be considered a threat to national security.
Lyrics — 4
Does anybody like that seminal Ramones song, I don't wanna go down to the basement? You can now hear the identical lyrical theme in the Teenage Bottlerocket song In the Basement. The Ramones covered all of the lyrical topics on Warning Device eons ago, so listen to them instead. The lyrics are one lengthy platitudinous statement- and the harmonies are in all the right places, which makes this formulaic and terribly characterless. Oh, and prepare for an abundance of whoa-oh-ohs.
Overall Impression — 3
Teenage Bottlerocket are blossoming into a fine imitation of every other pop punk band out there, embracing the clichs of the genre like the prodigal son. They play their plagiarised tunes with passion, and it is evident that they wear their influences on their sleeves, but there comes a time in a band's lifespan when a band must develop its own sound; sadly, Teenage Bottlerocket have failed in regarding this point. It is a shame, because the band members all seem to be genuinely pleasant people, but being pleasant does not earn them bonus points. This is 'pretty vacant' stuff if you ask me, but this could be used in schools to introduce children to pop punk if their parents are fearful of them listening to anything that could test the limits of their children's music preferences.