Brand New Year

Brand New Year

by The Bottle Rockets
     
 

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When the sun, moon, and constellations are all perfectly aligned and everyone holds their mouths right, a band gets an album like BRAND NEW YEAR. Dipping into other styles and melding them with their own, the Bottle Rockets manage to find themselves. You can plan this kind of assault, but executing it is another thing. But that's what the Bottle Rockets do again and

Overview

When the sun, moon, and constellations are all perfectly aligned and everyone holds their mouths right, a band gets an album like BRAND NEW YEAR. Dipping into other styles and melding them with their own, the Bottle Rockets manage to find themselves. You can plan this kind of assault, but executing it is another thing. But that's what the Bottle Rockets do again and again on BRAND NEW YEAR, while producer Eric "Roscoe" Ambel shapes a mesmerizing soundscape around them. The touchstones are obvious. The twin guitars driving the opening homage, "Nancy Sinatra," snarl and slither about like Lynyrd Skynyrd's Gary Rossington and Allen Collins in their prime, while the second cut, "Anyone in Bad Company," has an engaging melody, bluesy vocal, and stomping rhythm not unlike vintage, uh, Bad Company. But BRAND NEW YEAR isn't about copping other band's licks; it's about the vision of musicians who can deliver an anthem like "White Boy Blues" with grandeur and heart. It's about songs with lyrics that get under your skin with their smarts and wit, while the musicians cut loose with startling, unforgiving intensity. This is a great leap forward by a group ready to take its place among America's finest. God bless the Bottle Rockets.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
The '90s turned out to be a little tough for the Bottle Rockets. Upon the release of its eponymous debut in 1993, the Missouri quartet was almost universally hailed as one of the leaders of the post-Uncle Tupelo Americana movement, but the band lost momentum when trying to make it in the big leagues. It wasn't for lack of trying. They labored over their official Atlantic debut, 24 Hours a Day, but when they were touring the album, the label pulled their support, leaving them to flounder. The Rockets regrouped and released a collection of outtakes, Leftovers, the following year, as they decided what to do next. Wisely, they seized an opportunity for a fresh start, which is what Brand New Year, their first studio album for Doolittle Records, is. They've decided to emphasize their roots as a bar band, cutting away their country tendencies and playing up their fondness for '70s hard rock. The twist is, Rockets leader Brian Henneman tries to inject some intelligence and self-aware humor into the lyrics. At times, it works, but it's just as frequently awkward or self-conscious, especially since it seems that the words have taken precedence over hooks or melodies. Even so, there's a sense of songwriterly craft, if not actual songs, that is welcome, and it's made all the more engaging by the earthy performances by what is, after all, a really good bar band. There's no question that Brand New Year is a proudly Luddite record, celebrating the virtues of loud guitars and living without computers (see "Helpless," as in "how come I don't feel helpless"), which naturally makes it feel like an album out of time, but that is its redeeming virtue -- it might not have the hooks of a classic rock album, but it's a good, solid slice of organic hard rock.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/06/2004
Label:
New West Records
UPC:
0607396601929
catalogNumber:
6019

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Bottle Rockets   Primary Artist
Eric Ambel   Organ,Guitar,Vocals,12-string Guitar,Slide Guitar,Shaker,wah wah guitar,Dulcitone,Guitar (Baritone)
Paul Ebersold   Organ
Robert Kearns   Bass,Mandolin,Vocals,Fretless Bass Guitar,Group Member
Jim Duffy   Organ
Brian Henneman   Acoustic Guitar,Vocals,12-string Guitar,Group Member
Mary Lee   Vocals
Mark Ortmann   Drums,Tambourine,Group Member
Tom Parr   Acoustic Guitar,Spoken Word,Group Member

Technical Credits

Eric Ambel   Producer,Contributor
Bottle Rockets   Liner Notes
Tim Hatfield   Engineer
Matt Martone   Engineer
Kevin Whitley   Art Direction
Bonnie Spanogle   Art Direction

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