Man, how old are the dudes in Teenage Bottlerocket by now? Based on a visual guess and the band’s first record hitting in 2003, the Laramie, Wyoming, smart-asses must be around their late 20s/early 30s. Freak Out!, in its own weird, magnificent way, serves as a reminder that these guys should be getting too old for this shit, but they’re still enjoying themselves too much and playing too well to care. Musically, their fifth record is archetypal TBR — Screeching Weasel–beholden pop-punk that’s heavy on gratifying hooks, crisp production, vocal harmonies, and nasal singing — with no new wrinkles. The lack of innovation is frustrating, since these guys nailed this formula long ago, but they mostly make up for the lack of newness by expending insane amounts of energy. In its most notable upside, Freak Out! jacks up the lyrical quality (traditionally the band’s weak spot) by featuring songs inspired by Top Gun, mosh pits, San Diego Comic Con, and creeping on girls, which contrast well with all the obligatory numbers about romance and give their dynamic a dash of spice. Teenage Bottlerocket’s actual adolescence might be long gone, but no matter — that band name represents a mindset to live and die by.
TEENAGE BOTTLEROCKET + MASKED INTRUDER + NOTHINGTON + GODDAMN DRACULAS | Middle East, 472 Mass Ave, Cambridge | August 21 @ 8pm | 18+ | $10 | 617.864.3278