LARAMIE, WY — One night after Brandon and Ray Carlisle celebrated their birthday at Marquis Theater in Denver Teenage Bottlerocket played a basement show at 8 Bytes Game Cafe. Good humor is a trademark of pop punk, arguably that was born in the mind of Bill Stevenson of Black Flag and The Descendents and grown in the womb of the Blasting Room in Fort Collins, it’s cultivated by many punkers today. This kind of tongue in cheek, sometimes bathroom jokes, were made commercial with bands like Blink 182 in the late ‘90s and early 2000s. Teenage Bottlerocket is simply one of the best at it, from Laramie, spent time recording their three most recent albums with Jason Livermore in Fort Collins and may be a punk rock band you’ve never heard. Teenage Bottlerocket the band from Laramie with strong ties to Colorado. This is your chance to find them and listen. Horror film, skateboarding and metal music are recurring themes. They’ll make you laugh, but they can make you cry too.
Teenage Bottlerocket was formed in 2000 by twin brothers Ray “Rocket” and Brandon Carlisle, Kody Templeman joined the band for tour in 2004 and stayed the course. Kody is a two headed monster with Ray. They’re like Gleeok, the two headed dragon in The Legend of Zelda video game, formidable rock and rollers and inseparable during harmonies. You’re not getting through them to level up when it comes to writing great punk tunes. If you ask them, they’re “Bigger Than Kiss” a song from They Came From the Shadows. A totally funny and light look at how they’ll be just that, bigger than the legendary rock band Kiss, “we’re gonna go down in history as the world’s greatest rock ‘n’ roll band.” Ray and Kody sing and play guitar they trade riffs and layer vocal melody. Their sound is perfect pop that’s recognized by punk purists too because it’s pure punk. It’s made by punks for punks, but accessible and authentic. It’s certainly for a PG-13 audience, however, there’s some profanity in the lyrics. As carefree, youthful, childish and fun as this all may seem, it’s not without strife. Strife that came after the fun was already written in their music.
In November of 2015 drummer and Ray’s twin brother, Brandon Carlisle passed away in Fort Collins, Colorado. It was announced via the band’s Instagram account on November 6, 2015. Punk rock is a community of people who endure. Humor is often a way of caring on. It’s unimaginable to think what Ray endured, but a rock show and birthday celebration in Denver and Laramie seems like something Brandon would have enjoyed and something that respects his legacy. This from the Instagram post on November 6, 2015, “Brandon could feel how much he was really loved. Brandon lived his life with his whole heart. He loved music, and he loved people. He always made it a point to let everyone know how much they meant to him, and to take time to make new friends. Anyone who was lucky enough to spend even a minute with the guy knows what a blessing he was to this earth.” His music lives with the fans and it lives through Teenage Bottlerocket’s continued performance, recording and existence. The fun written in their music is his legacy. The performance in Laramie was proof, it was an outstanding show and honored his spirit. A great way to spend a birthday. Brandon through Ray, Kody and the whole band gave kids of all ages something to smile about, something to cheer about and a reason to dance.