CD Review: Teenage BottleRocket “Stealing The Covers”

“Stealing The Covers”
Teenage BottleRocket
Fat Wreck Chords
Tracks: 14

Our score: 4 out of 5 stars

Teenage BottleRocket’s brand new album and their return to Fat Wreck Chords is complete! “Stealing The Covers” is the latest offering from the 4 piece punk band hailing from Laramie, Wyoming. Pulled from catalogs of bands TBR has toured with over the last 17 years the groups most recent offering is a unique collection of upbeat, tongue and cheek cover tracks that follow suit with the bands previous releases.

Having first heard about the possibility of this album during last years Warped Tour I was more than ready to check it out when the opportunity arose. Right off the bat I noticed that this wasn’t going to be just another punk cover album as while looking at the albums track listing a lot of the song titles where foreign to me as were the bands who originally performed them. No matter, I forged ahead and what I ended up finding was a fun, fresh and energetic album worth listening to multiple times over. Tracks like “Back and Forth”, “Robocop Is a Halfbreed Sellout” and, “Gay Parade” had just about I look for in a solid pop-punk tune.

From humorous lyrics and subject matter to catchy sing along choruses played with a Ramones like fury Teenage Bottlerockets “Stealing The Covers” is a great listen. Don’t let the bands decision to choose more obscure tracks cloud your judgment as I found not knowing some of the music only added to the appeal of the record and gave it a freshness other cover albums lack.

Track Listing:
1. The Way I Know (Varsity Weirdos)
2. Back and Forth (Hollywood Blondes)
3. College Town (Juke)
4. Don’t Go (The Scutches)
5. Robocop Is a Halfbreed Sellout (Sprocket Nova)
6. No Hugging No Learning (HEAD)
7. Shit Fuck God Damn (Artimus Maximus)
8. Gay Parade (The Gullibles)
9. It Came from the Radio (The Blendours)
10. Alien Motion Technology (The Mugwumps)
11. Hat Nerd (The Four Eyes)
12. My Very Best (The 20Belows)
13. I Kill Butterflies (Onion Flavored Rings)
14. Why the Big Pause (The Punchlines)

CD Review: Mathew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs “Under the Covers Vol. 3”

Mathew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs
“Under the Covers Vol. 3”
Shout Factory
Produced by: Mathew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs
Tracks: 14

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

Singer song writers Mathew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs are back with their 3rd installment of cover albums titled “Under The Covers Vol.3”. Like their previous two compilations which covered songs from the 60’s and 70’s the latest in the trilogy tackles the widely popular 1980’s. Produced by both Sweet and Hoffs the album is being released via Shout Factory and feature 14 tracks ranging from the obscure to the more popular of 80’s tracks.

When you hear the name Mathew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs it’s hard not to envision the sounds of Sweet’s classic album “Girlfriend” and the countless hits Hoff has sang/played on with her former group The Bangles. Though the two are quite different it’s easy to assume they wouldn’t mix very well however the result is the exact opposite. Since the duo’s first covers album “Under the Covers Vol. 1” in 2006 the two have been steadily releasing more work together. The latest “Under the Covers Vol.3” brings the listener back to the age of stone washed denim, hyper color t-shirts and teased hair. Though Sweet and Hoff chose to cover a few more obscure tracks like R.E.M.’s “Sitting Still” and “The Bulrush” by The Bongos each track is given a fresh spin featuring bubbling pop type arrangements making the album one of those that you can throw on and kick back to while looking through your old year book.

My favorite of the 14 tracks were the renditions of Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin” and the always enjoyable Go-Go’s tune “Our Lips Our Sealed”. Even though both of those tracks have had their fair share of reworking by other artists these two renditions were packed with plenty of appeal. My biggest complaint about this album was again that some of the songs were a bit obscure for my liking however I certainly cannot fault the performers for wanting to do something different from an era over flowing with tons of great music.

Track Listing:
1.) Sitting Still
2.) Girls Talk
3.) Big Brown Eyes
4.) Kid
5.) Free Fallin’
6.) Save It For Later
7.) They Don’t Know
8.) The Bulrushes
9.) Our Lips Are Sealed
10.) How Soon Is Now
11.) More Than This
12.) Towers of London
13.) Killing Moon
14.) Trouble