The Bottle Rockets South Broadway Athletic Club
| BS 227

South Broadway Athletic Club

180 GRAM Vinyl LP includes digital download version of the album;

Read this excellent piece by producer Eric "Roscoe" Ambel (of The Yayhoos) about the making of the album


An album as relevant as their formative early work; political by not being political, re-affirming our greatest aspirations by focusing on the tiniest of truths.

Full Description

 They’ve crushed rowdy Friday night crowds, convinced sitting audiences to get on their feet, and pulled weary festival onlookers across muddy fields to the front of the stage. With their 12th album, South Broadway Athletic Club, the quartet gives a master class in capturing the beauty of everyday life, and painting a portrait of ongoing hope.

South Broadway Athletic Club is an album full of new experiences for the band. Although they again worked with longtime producer Eric “Roscoe” Ambel (of Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, The Del-Lords, The Yayhoos) it was the first time the group recorded a full album in their hometown of St. Louis, Missouri. Working at Sawhorse Studios, it was also the first time they scheduled sessions in batches over several months, allowing the songs - and the whole album - to fully breathe and unfold. The extended songwriting process not only allowed a gestation period for the music, but also created the opportunity for a new musical collaboration with the Nashville hit-songwriting family The Henningsens, resulting in the song “Something Good.” These fresh directions helped focus the band’s creativity and energy throughout the recording sessions, adding further dimension to the album.

Singer/guitarist Brian Henneman meticulously crafts lyric-chapters straight from his well-worn journal. The album’s sharp-as-shit songwriting kicks off with “Monday (Everytime I Turn Around),” and the tough but tender “Big Lotsa Love.” The latter is built on engaging wordplay that takes the listener through the ups and downs of working through the world with someone you care about. In “Dog,” a jangly, Byrds-infused, unaffected but never cloying, tribute (with Henneman’s new weapon of choice: a chimey, 12-string Rickenbacker) to a favorite canine, he sings, “I love my dog, he’s my dog/ If you don’t love my dog, that’s OK/ I don’t want you to, he’s my dog.” The zen-like wisdom transcends merely a song about a pet and, rather, packs the message and life philosophy that, “Sometimes life is just this simple.”

Sonically, The Bottle Rockets still find the quickest two-lane highway into the bloodstream. There are pulses through the rhythm section of Mark Ortmann’s made for FM radio, wall-of-sound drumming and bassist Keith Voegele’s deep and shapely lines. They are Missouri’s answer to Muscle Shoals’ The Swampers  – Swiss Army knife players, distinctive and in the pocket. It’s honed further with John Horton’s classic rock guitar snarl on “I Don’t Wanna Know,” a song that could otherwise be a Tom Jones classic about a relationship lie. On the speaker-rattling “Building Chryslers,” Horton and Henneman ignite a crunchy guitar duel that’d fit nicely on the LP shelf between Dinosaur Jr and Thin Lizzy. The song is a compelling character study told only as The Bottle Rockets can.

Shimmering, fresh coats of paint are applied in “Ship It On the Frisco,” a Southern soul-influenced song about childhood train hopping, and “XOYOU,” which showcases the band’s cosmopolitan touches through a Rockpile/Nick Lowe-inflected pop gem mixing in shuffling drums, handclaps and harmonies. Elsewhere, “Big Fat Nuthin’” is an earwormworthy “ode” to exhaustion with a Black Flag “TV Party” vibe.

Throughout their entire career, The Bottle Rockets have managed to stay true to the rabid music heads as well as casual dial-turning everybodies. After 20+ years, they’ve come out on the other side stronger and more energized than ever before, proactively writing their own creative arc. Against the odds, the Bottle Rockets are a true American success story. Consequently, South Broadway Athletic Club is an album as relevant as their formative early work; political by not being political, re-affirming our greatest aspirations by focusing on the tiniest of truths.

Short Description
  • Utterly familiar yet amazingly fresh on every album…South Broadway Athletic Club ranks among their best.

    — Mother Jones
  • South Broadway Athletic Club seems like a typical Bottle Rockets album on the surface, but dig a bit deeper and you'll find a set of songs as strong and emotionally powerful as anything this band has delivered since 24 Hours a Day, and if you need to be reminded that this is one of America's best and most underappreciated rock bands, spin this once and see if you don't feel like spinning it again right away.

    — AllMusic
  • A 36-minute slab of everyman tales set to countrified Southern rock and Byrdsian jangle pop.

    — Playback STL
  • There are enough emotionally true narratives here brimming with soul and bruised wisdom...The dual-guitar powder keg “Building Chryslers” recalls vintage Rockets: noisy, trenchant, and uniquely American.

    — Boston Globe
  • Kicks hard in the way Tom Petty wishes he could still write.

    — Pop Dose
  • They take our common complaints, add a hook, and the result is another populist anthem…South Broadway Athletic Club has at its heart a sort of Zen bemusement, non-judgmental, unabashedly rockin’ for the little guy.

    — Ink 19
  • The people need new Bottle Rockets, and that time has come.

    — NPR Music
  • Always lending uplift to hard times and good ones, Henneman and his band are still here to help you get through your real life.

    — NPR Music

Track List

  1. Monday (Everytime I Turn Around)
  2. Big Lotsa Love
  3. I Don't Wanna Know
  4. Big Fat Nuthin'
  5. Dog
  6. Something Good
  7. Building Chryslers
  8. Smile
  9. XOYOU
  10. Ship It On the Frisco
  11. Shape of a Wheel


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