| BS 157

Lean Forward



Stacked with a sharp lyricism and gritty fatalism that looks off the front porch for inspiration and has the locked down groove of a band on top of its game.

Full Description

In a country where interstates don't take you to new places, but to the same places, where everywhere you go you've already been or you've just left, Lean Forward absolutely nails a sound and a vibe with a palpable sense of place. It's suffused with the determination and resilience of their distinctly midwestern roots; theirs is a celebration of pragmatism and tempered optimism, not the delusions and exhortations of glassy eyed zealots—they aren't going to fall for that. Oh, it's a flat out, smoking rock record, too.

Lean Forward continues the Rockets’ creative resurgence ignited by 2006’s Zoysia. Reunited with producer Eric “Roscoe” Ambel (who ran the knobs on the Bottle Rockets’ seminal albums The Brooklyn Side and 24 Hours A Day), the Bottle Rockets do what no other band does better--look into the hearts and minds and faces of the dying small towns in America and craft populist anthems with the sympathetic eye of Woody Guthrie and sonic stomp of Crazy Horse. They are songs that demand the windows be rolled down and the volume turned up. And with the hooks, you’ll wonder how they make such problems sound so good …

Lean Forward is stacked with a sharp lyricism and gritty fatalism that looks off the front porch for inspiration, and has the locked down groove of a band on top of its game. “The Long Way” looks on the bright side of the path not intentionally taken and works into a joyous song-ending jam. Songs like “Done It All Before” and “Get on the Bus” shine with an irresistible buoyancy, as does “Shame on Me” which gets to the meat of the relationship matter that, despite our best intentions, we’re all gonna screw up. “Hard Times” whips up a ZZ Top-inflected boogie with effortless mastery and a dual guitar attack that’ll put some much-needed flare back in your jeans.

Lean Forward is an album that celebrates the forces of erosion not earthquakes, of the marathon not the sprint. Honed in their towns and on their back roads, it is distinctly the Bottle Rockets.  Rather than be confining, this identity broadens the appeal and strength of their music far from their backyards into our own.  Their specificity speaks universally and the message is a simple one: Lean forward, man, because it beats falling back.

Short Description
  • Atop the stinging double-stop guitar licks of the Bottle Rockets’ no-frills latest, optimism and good intentions knock heads with the reality of human imperfection.

    — Paste
  • Brian Henneman's songs stand out like a Camaro at a Toyota dealership.

    — Exclaim
  • One of rock's most productive and consistent bands. Lean Forwardkeeps the Rockets' streak alive and well.

    — No Depression
  • Here, Brian delivers the goods on "Kid Next Door," an Everyman's rumination on recent Mideast conflicts that would not have sounded out of place on Springsteen'sDevils And Dust.

    — My Old Kentucky Blog
  • The Bottle Rockets are really a successor to the Replacements. Lean Forward is fine, earthy, timeless American rock 'n' roll.

    — East Bay Express
  • Their sharp-edged sound sweeps from Lynyrd Skynyrd to The Band, with stops in between for Creedence, the Rolling Stones, the Replacements and several other titans. That's about as big a compliment as can be given in 2009, and this band has earned every inch of it. Luckily, Lean Forward is the best album they've ever made.

    — Sonic Boomers

Track List

  • 1. The Long Way
  • 2. Shame On Me
  • 3. Nothin' But A Driver
  • 4. Hard Times
  • 5. Done It All Before
  • 6. Open Your Eyes
  • 7. Kid Next Door
  • 8. Way It Used To Be
  • 9. Get On The Bus
  • 10. Slip Away
  • 11. Solitaire
  • 12. Give Me Room


Also From This Artist

You May Also Dig…