Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  Expert Witness
Books:
  Going Into the City
  Consumer Guide: 90s
  Grown Up All Wrong
  Consumer Guide: 80s
  Consumer Guide: 70s
  Any Old Way You Choose It
  Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough
Writings:
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Playboy
  Blender
  Rolling Stone
  Billboard
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
  Recyclables
  Newsprint
  Lists
  Miscellany
Bibliography
NPR
Web Site:
  Home
  Site Map
  What's New?
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
  Archive
Venues:
  Noisey
CG Search:
Google Search:
Twitter:
***

THE BOTTLE ROCKETS
Leftovers
New West

***

THE BOTTLE ROCKETS
Brand New Year
New West

Hairy barhounds from Festus, Missouri, show up their illustrious bosses

Since emerging from under Uncle Tupelo with an alt-country tougher and better written than that of the band they roadied for, the Bottle Rockets have never released anything approaching a mediocre album. But these 1998 and 1999 titles aren't where to start. The outtakes EP Leftovers shows off their great strength--not many bands leave songs as striking as the wired "Coffee Monkey" or the unrequited "Financing His Romance" on the cutting-room floor. Their major-label last gasp, Brand New Year, rocks impressively, albeit without much commercial effect. Powerful if a bit broad, it's almost as songful as you'd hope and figure, yet given the band's great refusal of alt-country wimpdom, it's strangely prone to alt-country corn. Really--amped bands should never, never bitch about technology.

Blender, June/July 2004