BODEGA – ” Jack In Titanic “

Posted: July 15, 2018 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
Tags: , , ,

This NYC art-punk/new wave group is one of the most interesting new bands I’ve heard in 2018. At times I’m reminded of The B-52’s, Pylon, X, Cake and Lithics. They are an exciting live band too:

That image-heavy universe which Bodega operate in is essential to their make-up. They talk of their on-stage light boxes as “the sixth member of Bodega, while their sound – equal parts Matrix-esque futurism (they all walk on stage later this evening clad head-to-toe in black and copious amounts of leather and PVC), and dusty, New York-indebted post-punk – occupies the kind of stylistic realm that art students dribble over.

“I think we were all really excited about a kind of rock minimalism,” says Ben, “which can mean a lot of different things. For example, not having cymbals in the drum set, or doing anything frilly in the guitar parts; not repeating parts or lyrics, just in and out.”

It’s easily picked up on ‘Endless Scroll’, and its brittle, brilliant lead single ‘How Did This Happen?’, a track that’s all sharp angles and cutting pontifications on consumerism – “This machine? You know it don’t kill fascists? / This machine, it’s just a guitar,” Ben quips at one point. He calls that stark approach to music-making their “sonic mission statement”, while also referring separately to an ethical one.

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The first moment of Endless Scroll’s winkingly-titled second track, “Bodega Birth,” states the album’s thesis: “I use my computer for everything / Heaven knows I’m miserable now.” In both its content and its monotone delivery, the line addresses the ways our technological access leads to a kind of internal deadening. “Bookmarks” is even more direct: “All day at work / Stare at computer/ Come home from work / Stare at computer,” drilling down on the banality of constant access. It’s not all screens, though: On opener “How Did This Happen?!,” Bodega A lament how technology has led to political complacency and “slacktivism”; “Can’t Knock The Hustle,” with its quips about nine-dollar smoothies and hourly salaries—and a sardonic chorus that goes, “You can’t knock the hustle / When the cats are making capital”—is an anti-capitalist anthem that socialist organizations could adopt as their fight song.

Such straightforward lyricism demands music that’s equally unflashy, and Bodega’s simple, wiry arrangements rise to the occasion. The songs are built from little more than slightly overdriven guitars, simple, driving drums, and Belfiglio and Hozie’s yelped vocals. Just as Bodega’s lyrics plainly and boldly analyze our current state, so too are the songs striking in their direct, yet incisive, arrangements.

Band Members
Ben Hozie
Nikki Belfiglio
Montana Simone
Heather Elle
Madison Velding-VanDam
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