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Design By Humans
Published On: Tue, Sep 22nd, 2015

The Bottle Rockets: South Broadway Athletic Club

south broadwyaThe Bottle Rockets
South Broadway Athletic Club
(Bloodshot Records)

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The poppy snare and guitar jangle of “Monday (Everytime I Turn Around)” opens The Bottle Rockets’ new album, South Broadway Athletic Club. This 11-song pop mélange is this St. Louis-based band’s first album of new material in six years and a welcome return to be sure. There’s lots to like here, from “I Don’t Wanna Know,” with its slicing and heavy guitars, to “Building Chryslers,” a big, heavy, nasty-sounding tune of wry lyrics and noisy leading to once again that jangly guitar sound, and single-string leading to “Dog,” about nothing much more than the narrator’s love for his dog, and “Smile,” an acoustic guitar, country-flavored jangle in the John Prine tradition. “Ship It On the Frisco” is slightly different than the rest with some nice, soft, Hendrix-esque, electric-guitar-meets-a-“Dock Of the Bay”-like slinky, laid back beat. The whole album ends on the poppy “Shape of a Wheel,” a phoenix-rising, everyday man getting up and doing it again paean. As happens often here, the harmonies push things along expertly in another tight, well-written pop confection. I like a band who has their identity well in-hand, exploits the round edges well, but delivers wonderfully-crafted, electric pop, slightly country-flavored tunes. The Bottle Rockets’ South Broadway Athletic Club is a solid little gem to be sure.

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The Bottle Rockets: South Broadway Athletic Club