With the increased exposure of being on TKO, I’ve got the feeling that Broken Bottles will get a bunch of new fans and a bunch of razzing (see Nørb’s review). Having interviewed the guys and hung out with them a couple of times, I can vouch that Jes isn’t trying to impress anyone, and isn’t faking the lunacy. Sure, he sounds a lot like Mike Ness and the band sounds a lot like classic Social Distortion, but I like them a lot regardless. It’s like they found an extra book of songs that were slated for Mommy’s Little Monster (albeit a little more campy), which were lost in a fire or a flood or mudslide or something. Also, Southern Orange County punk is one of the last full-fledged bastions of punk rock that never went away after the beachhead was declared in the late ‘70s. So I can also understand that berets a la D.I. throw folks for a loop, but it’s what these guys wear, day in and day out (and Travis is one of the nicest guys you’re bound to meet). Selfishly, since I have all of their singles, I’ve already heard a little less than half of the songs on In the Bottles, but there are some great new tracks on here, too. “Pink Swastika” is quintessential Broken Bottles – funny and strange (it’s about a homosexual nazi and the conflict that such a person might face) and “Blondie” buzzes right through, like a bullet from 1982. My only beef is that it’s a pretty bad idea to cover “The Letter” (previously covered by fucking Joe Cocker) at all, but to put it in the middle of the CD makes for awkward sprints to the CD player to hit skip. Regardless, this is a nice introduction of the band to the rest of the world outside of Southern California.