Eight years is a long time for any band to go without releasing any new material. No matter what, a change is bound to happen for anyone who finds themselves in a band that takes such a long time to dish out any sort of new material regardless of the core reason. Whether it be caused by the band members’ schedules simply not aligning properly or they really wanted to take their time in order to get it right, such a wait can be frustrating for fans with there always being some level of doubt when it comes to the overall quality of the work itself whenever it actually comes out. It can be hard to deliver an album that is a worthy follow-up to a well-received debut after such a gap in activity, but that didn’t seem to be a problem whatsoever with Bottlekopf’s sophomore album.
A change in a band’s sound can be almost all but expected when it comes to such a space between releases, and in a way that can make things a little exciting. It virtually ensures that the listener is not in for a listen that is a mere copy-and-paste of the previous album that came before which, in my opinion, would be quite a letdown if I waited the better part of a decade for the effort to come around. For “The Jokes Are Over”, however, it was clear that Bottlekopf was already quite satisfied with the sound that they brought forth in their 2014 debut, “Absolutely Nothing”, so it was clear that they decided to keep things virtually the same for this new effort, but it’s with a much more refined sense of their craft and a stronger bond as a single, cohesive unit that these thirteen tracks definitely pack more of a punch. The core of this record still feels immensely simple when you boil it all down with the death-n-roll inspiration all but apparent for the entire runtime of “The Jokes Are Over”, and it’s even despite some tracks sounding a little samey at certain points whether it be choruses going on for too long or everything being almost too simple that I still can’t find myself saying that I had any sort of a bad time with this record. It hits on all the right notes with plenty of punch to be had in every single track without exception as their wallops are nothing to be taken lightly.
It’s far from something that I think could be widespread throughout the underground, but there’s no denying the infectious nature of Bottlekopf and all that they poured into “The Jokes Are Over” as it’s virtually every moment that is packed with energy and the exact sort of intensity that one could hope for out of a record in this particular vein. A damn good time by all accounts, and I can only hope that it won’t be another eight years before we hear from Bottlekopf again.
LISTEN to “The Jokes Are Over” on Bandcamp here.
LIKE Bottlekopf on Facebook here.