Teenage Bottlerocket came to life following the dissolution of Laramie pop-punks the Lillingtons. And even though there are definite similarities between the two bands (Kody Templeman, for one thing, fronts both), Teenage Bottlerocket manages to carve itself out a distinct identity, mostly due to the variety created by the trade-off vocals of Templeman and bassist Ray Carlisle. The latter has a rough, somewhat slurred delivery that complements Templeman's higher, snider approach, and together they bring a lot of life and heart into straightforward, two-minute punk songs. Total is right up at the top with the best pop-punk out there nowadays overtly indebted to the Ramones, the quartet blasting through each song with an undeniable energy and a self-deprecating sense of humor that never lets up and never lets down. Whether they're singing about haplessly trying to land a date or later trying to simply lose the girl, Teenage Bottlerocket seem like those guys in high school who were just doing their own thing, happy with their friends and punk 7"s, and unconcerned with anything else. They may not tread any new ground, but it hardly matters here. Besides, how can anyone hate a record that includes such charming lines as "If you're cold I'll let you wear my Ramones sweatshirt/ If you fall I'm gonna make sure that you're not hurt/Won't you fall for me?" No really, the hooks in the song make it work splendidly. If you're still mourning the loss of the Lillingtons, there's no use crying because Teenage Bottlerocket is here to save the day. Catchy, genuinely cool, and full of plenty of wo-ohs, Total is some of the most fun to be had all year.
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AllMusic Review by Corey Apar