The Bottle Rockets

The Brooklyn Side

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While the Bottle Rockets' brand of Skynyrd-esque raunch & roll is considerably more good-timey than most of the band's roots rock brethren, their incisive, provocative songwriting skills set them squarely among the genre's elite. The Brooklyn Side, produced by Eric "Roscoe" Ambel, is fairly bursting with dead-on character studies exploring the realities and quiet desperation of rural Southern life, from the darkly humorous ("Sunday Sports," about a family man who finds that watching TV in his underwear is "the only way to get away from everything else" in his life) to the poignant ("Welfare Music," a depiction of the struggles facing a young single mother). The band also possesses a wickedly comic edge, as evidenced by "Idiot's Revenge" (a diatribe against alt rock rhetoric), "1000 Dollar Car" (a eulogy for a used automobile), and the flamethrowing single "Radar Gun" (the tale of a sadistic, ticket-happy traffic cop).

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