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Missouri’s Bottle Rockets continue their work as one of America’s most songful bar bands on Zoysia. Eight releases into their career, Brian Henneman and fellows put their Neil Young-inspired rock to use on a slightly less biting, Midwest-based version of what the Drive-By Truckers do. Not to say that there’s no snarl here. “I Quit” warns that even a newly minted non-drinker shouldn’t be toyed with, while “Happy Anniversary” puts a classic country spin on the long-playing misery that friendship with an ex-lover can veil. The rowdy, sexy “Mountain to Climb” and the post-split-up “Better Than Broken” are catchy enough to qualify as hit singles – if the Rockets were the sort of outfit that scored them these days. A couple of message songs fail to pierce their targets, but the title track makes up for them. It pooh-poohs red state/blue state divisions by bringing the talk down to Henneman and his next-door neighbor, who disagree politically but “get along fine.”


Formed: 1992 in Festus, MO

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Festus, Missouri's Bottle Rockets ranked as one of the leading lights of the 1990s roots rock revival, thanks to a sound that bypassed the punk heritage proudly upheld by most of the band's contemporaries in favor of a redneck fusion of Southern boogie, country-folk, and crunching rock & roll. The group was fronted by singer/guitarist Brian Henneman, a Missouri native who formed his first band, Waylon Van Halen & the Ernest Tubbadours, in 1977 with friends Tom and Bob Parr. After a succession of...
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Zoysia, The Bottle Rockets
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