Bottle Rockets: The Official Poop

 

Kickass new album en
route in two weeks….

 

By Blurt Staff

 

Aw, you just gotta love press releases like this. It pretty
much sums up how we here at BLURT feel about this band. Plus anything with
Roscoe’s involvement floats our boat as well. Watch the website for a review of
the album soon, too. It’s due August 11 from Bloodshot. Read on…

 

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In a country where interstates don’t take you to new places,
but to the same places, where everywhere you go you’ve already been or you’ve
just left, The Bottle Rockets’ new
album absolutely nails a sound and a vibe with a palpable sense of place. Lean Forward is suffused with the
determination and resilience of their distinctly midwestern roots; theirs is a
celebration of pragmatism and tempered optimism, not the delusions and
exhortations of glassy eyed zealots-they aren’t going to fall for that. Oh,
it’s a flat out, smoking rock record, too.

 

Lean Forward continues the Rockets’ creative resurgence ignited by
2006’s Zoysia. Reunited with producer Eric “Roscoe” Ambel (who ran the knobs on the Bottle Rockets’
seminal albums The Brooklyn Side and 24 Hours A Day), the Bottle
Rockets do what no other band does better–look into the hearts and minds and faces of the dying small towns in
America and craft populist anthems with the sympathetic eye of Woody Guthrie
and sonic stomp of Crazy Horse. They are songs that demand the windows
be rolled down and the volume turned up. And with the hooks, you’ll wonder how
they make such problems sound so good …

Lean Forward is stacked with a sharp lyricism and gritty fatalism that
looks off the front porch for inspiration, and has the locked down groove of a
band on top of its game. “The Long Way” looks on the bright side of the path
not intentionally taken and works into a joyous song-ending jam. Songs like
“Done It All Before” and “Get on the Bus” shine with an irresistible buoyancy,
as does “Shame on Me” which gets to the meat of the relationship matter that,
despite our best intentions, we’re all gonna screw up. “Hard Times” whips up a
ZZ Top-inflected boogie with effortless mastery and a dual guitar attack
that’ll put some much-needed flare back in your jeans.

On “Kid Next Door,” the lyrics bypass protest in favor of simple commentary on
a war coming home, making it a far more powerful song no matter where one
stands on the issue. It’s a stone cold classic and handled with the deftness
and conviction that speaks to the Rockets’ sober-minded realism. To see that
they’ve still got scruffy punk moxie to spare, look no further than “The Way It
Used To Be” and the channeling of Bo Diddley via the Stooges on “Nothing but a
Driver.”

With their 15th anniversary now in the rear view mirror, the Bottle Rockets
show no signs of letting up. Lean Forward is an album that celebrates
the forces of erosion not earthquakes, of the marathon not the sprint. Honed in
their towns and on their back roads, it is distinctly the Bottle Rockets. 
Rather than be confining, this identity broadens the appeal and strength of
their music far from their backyards into our own.  Their specificity
speaks universally and the message is a simple one: Lean forward, man, because
it beats falling back.

 

 

 

 

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