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BODEGA - Endless Scroll

BODEGA – Endless Scroll

“It just seemed obvious that we couldn’t write a contemporary record without talking about life on the internet. It’s almost not even a critique, it’s just that’s literally what it means to be alive right now,” stated lead singer Ben Hozie about BODEGA’s debut album Endless Scroll. Indeed, modern technology, and humanity’s misuse of it, runs through the entirety of their brilliant debut album that recalls everyone from Velvet Underground to Parquet Courts, all the way to LCD Soundsystem, yet displayed with their own cartoonish, postmodern twist.

Recorded and produced by Austin Brown, of Parquet Courts fame, on the same Tascam 388 tape machine used for their LP Light Up Gold, it inspires the same wild minimalism and sharp wit of the American rock band, yet BODEGA seem to have more dazzling ideas and vast influences in their arsenal, subsequently fusing post-punk, contemporary pop, hip-hop, krautrock, and folk-derived narrative songwriting. It's a curious, inventive, colourful offering, with that nagging act of self-doubt running all the way through it.

Kicking off with debut single ‘How Did This Happen?!’, it is vocally reminiscent of The Fall at their most opaque, with the kind of acerbic, deadpan and witting phrasing that would make Mark E. Smith proud: "This machine killed the dream of the 60s, this machine, oh it's just a guitar..." It’s this kind of monotonous speak-singing that has garnered them favourable comparisons with New York heroes Interpol, and they continue that vein of sardonic, straight to the point, brilliantly catchy post-punk, with songwriting that is as funny as it is subtle and important. “It’s the world now, don’t discriminate/ Everyone is equally a master and a slave/ How did this happen?!” Straight talking, and straight to the point, BODEGA are musicians way beyond their years.

The chunky themes don’t stop there, either. One of the finest songs on the record, ‘Can’t Knock The Hustle’, focusses on the grind of a capitalist society. Namely, focussing on the divide between mega-corporations who are siphoning as much money as possible, and the everyday people struggling because of it, and doing all they can to survive and prosper. Relying on a monstrous riff, as well as rhythmic wailing guitars, it’s a huge statement of intent which creates a suitably antagonistic feeling. It’s the sort of song that has all the potential to become an absolute anthem for the left, and its vocal delivery falls somewhere between the spoken word and rap. It’s absolutely beautiful, brilliant stuff from the band.

It’s not all doom, gloom, and machines are taking over though. Endless Scroll presents itself as incredibly funny with the piss-taking ‘Warhol’ (which subsequently pokes fun at most of their American influences), wonderfully irreverent ‘Jack In Titanic’ (an ode to Leonardo DiCaprio in the titular film) and sexual empowerment in ‘Gyrate’ (celebrating female masturbation). Much like QTY and Starcrawler’s excellent debut albums at the end of last year, as well as Sunflower Bean’s and Public Access TV’s continued success, BODEGA have joined the ranks as not only one of the most exciting bands across the shore, but a band that are prepared to say whatever they want and tackle the big problems. It makes Endless Scroll important, wickedly funny, and a hugely impressive melting pot of ideas.

Liam McMillen

Facebook: facebook.com/BODEGABK




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