BODEGA - Endless Scroll
Channeling the modern man’s neurosis of Talking Heads “Once In A Lifetime”, the re-branded BODEGA deliver their product: cynical, observational, anti-consumerist pop-culture pop-punk conveyed with an authoritative voice of the never wrong youth. “How Did This Happen?” drives with their signature sonic course of plodding drums, chugging electric guitars, and distorted bass lines.
This is the band simply performing, captured on tape by Parquet Court’s Austin Brown. Endless Scroll could be the annoyingly vocal, obviously sharp younger brother of the Courts’ still fresh Wide Awake! and the What’s Your Rupture? label setting itself up to run the civil discourse rock scene.
And BODEGA follows through on that promise of pulling no punches, directing their vitriol at 21st-century pillars: computers, Hollywood, desensitization by social media, and even Barnes and Noble. These condemnations are delivered in the hard-edged sing-song of 80’s punks 7 Seconds, devoid of any vocal gymnastics that would distract from the words.
Alternatively, singer Ben Hozie shows a tender side on the deceased friend memorial “Charlie”. Revealing strong Riot grrrl influence, the fantastic Nikki Belfiglio goes front and center for “Gyrate” and “Margot”, great personality performances that feel too thrifty on a 14 track album.
The songs themselves don’t aim for experimentalism, instead a laser focus is applied to craft tight, memorable cuts that mostly clock in under two minutes, and this qualifies as fleshed out for the group. Our Brand Could Be Your Life, released last year under old name Bodega Bay, was a true punk release, featuring 33 tracks that play in an hour flat. It’s appreciable songwriting growth, though you do miss the conversational, ranting lunatic structure when such blink-and-you’ll-miss-them moments are relegated to transitional pieces.
Endless Scroll is an intellectual, cathartic experience. It's an album wholly representative of Millennials in 2018 that is miraculously non-political, presenting the complications of society as probably too big to fight against, but never untouchable and always deserving of an argument. “Name Escape” rocks like lost cut off White Blood Cells, “Jack In Titanic” might be the most charming love song of the year, and while it breaks very little new ground, this “debut” from BODEGA is a must hear from a band that's sure to blow.