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Bodega - Broken Equipment Music Album Reviews

Bodega - Broken Equipment Music Album Reviews
The Brooklyn punks remain focused on the ceaseless challenges of living in the big city, but their overdriven guitars no longer sound quite as bitter or fed up—particularly when they shift to love songs.

Brooklyn punk band Bodega’s debut album, Endless Scroll, was largely a lament that modern life is lived through screens, but there were also songs about low-wage workers selling gluten-free sugar water in Union Square and the ridiculousness of center-liberal New Yorkers thinking Trumpism was unprecedented. Songwriters and vocalists Ben Hozie and Nikki Belfiglio made incisive points, but the approach they took on some of Endless Scroll’s political songs wasn’t always the sharpest line of attack. They sometimes mocked the very people who might stand a chance of coming around after some open-minded conversation—say, the identically dressed but potentially well-intentioned showgoers of “Name Escape.” On follow-up Broken Equipment, which Hozie co-produced with Bodega’s live sound mixer Bobby Lewis, Hozie and Belfiglio still stumble a bit when they attempt sociopolitical commentary. They remain focused on the ceaseless challenges of living in New York—and, by proxy, any major U.S. city—but now, their overdriven guitars don’t quite sound as bitter or fed up. Broken Equipment often sounds like a band weary of having to make the same points they’ve always made but then doing it anyway.

They shine best when they write about love, when their vocals go beyond sing-speaking, and when they blast the overdrive on their midtempo punk riffs. On “Doers,” Hozie’s cadence approaches rapping, an exciting new style for him. When the band adds crunchy guitars and Tai Lee’s percussive thwacking during the chorus, Bodega briefly transcend their lopsided lampooning. Ham-fisted references to a “soylent toilet seat” and innovation being impossible without dongles sandwich the razor-sharp line “I take all my meals to go/It’s fast down the tube/Delivery, and back to my workflow,” a gastronomical take on the productive forces of capitalism.

His rhetoric holds up slightly better on “NYC (disambiguation),” where relatively pared-back verses swell into an overdriven singalong chant of “New York was founded by a corporation”—a history lesson that in 1626, the Dutch West India Company bought New York from the indigenous Lenape tribe. Elsewhere, when he and Belfiglio aim their accusations upward, they fall back to the ground before they reach their target. On “Thrown,” he spits, “I’m surrounded by bureaucrats/And I was cold-called by two Democrats/Who said ‘senators thrown’/Still failing the class,” over click-clacking guitars; his voice has a scornful sneer but not quite the rage that lambasting a whole political party begs for.

Hozie is at his most engaging when exploring romance. On “All Past Lovers,” right after he sings, “All past lovers live inside of you,” guitars rattle like little fireworks going off, as though he finds power, not dread, in reflecting on past relationships that didn’t pan out. “I’m gonna show I love you,” he slowly intones atop phaser-heavy chords on “Pillar on the Bridge of You,” a love song he wrote for Belfiglio, before transitioning to something more like a speak-shout: “When my back lifts you up that street!” His excitement is audible, and there’s something sweet about someone so prone to derision being so genuinely enamored that he’ll use his whole body to show it.

When Belfiglio takes the mic, Bodega sound even better. On “Territorial Call of the Female,” her voice swings from a mild mid-register vibrato to a Karen O-like wail in a fraction of a second, and dovetails thrillingly with walloping power chords and Adam See’s punchy bassline. While Hozie can sound less like a singer than someone simply complaining loudly, Belfiglio sounds inviting and sharp. Her luminosity fades as the song closes, her wails of “call me out” gradually sounding ever more breathless and exhausted. It's unclear who she's addressing: herself? Some unnamed other? Society itself? But in that ambiguity lies one of the perplexing things about Bodega: She and Hozie have always known how to identify problems, but they’re still figuring out how to get people on their side.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Bodega - Broken Equipment Music Album Reviews Bodega - Broken Equipment Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Tuesday, March 22, 2022 Rating: 5

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