Bottle Rockets Reissue Rocks with a Vengenace

Courtesy of Bloodshot Records

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.


Bottle Rockets
Bottle Rockets/The Brooklyn Side
Bloodshot

Before Drive-By Truckers, there was Missouri’s Bottle Rockets. Unlike the more-literary Truckers, who chronicle the underclass from the outside with the keen eye of a short-story writer, Brian Henneman and crew seem to inhabit their equally downtrodden characters, creating uproarious drama that rocks with a vengeance. This two-disc, bonus track-laden reissue of their first two albums, from 1993 and 1994, feels utterly familiar, yet entirely fresh, suggesting everything from ZZ Top and Lynyrd Skynyrd to John Prine to Chuck Berry and the Clash, sometimes all within a single song.

The tunes are uniformly fine, capturing vivid images of lives under stress with rowdy verve. Among the best are “Gas Girl,” confessing a crush on the clerk at the filling station, the cautionary tale of a “1,000 Dollar Car” that “ain’t worth shit,” and “Sunday Sports,” about obsessive fans—with Henneman’s rueful, good-humored vocals adding zing. The 19 bonus tracks are well worth a listen, including six 1989 performances from Chicken Truck, the band that spawned the Rockets. While we’re awaiting new music from the boys, here’s hoping 1999’s Brand New Year, possibly their best album, gets a similar treatment.

THE END...

of our fiscal year is Thursday, June 30, and we have a much larger fundraising gap than we can easily manage with only days left to go.

Right now is no time to come up short: If you value the hard-hitting, democracy-protecting, justice-advancing journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us keep charging as hard as we possibly can with a much-needed and much-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

THE END...

of our fiscal year is Thursday, June 30, and we have a much larger fundraising gap than we can easily manage with only days left to go.

Right now is no time to come up short: If you value the hard-hitting, democracy-protecting, justice-advancing journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us keep charging as hard as we possibly can with a much-needed and much-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate