REASONS WHY I SHOULD PAY MORE ATTENTION (3)

I’m guessing that many of you will be familiar with a number, if not all, of the other blogs listed at the this little corner of t’internet. One of them is The Sound of Being OK (TSOBO), a development from When You Can’t Remember Anything, the brainchild of two friends/work colleagues SWC and Tim, who quickly cemented themselves as being as essential as Reeves and Mortimer, Laurel and Hardy, Pete and Dud, Morecambe and Wise, Lennon and Matthau, Fry and Laurie or Spit and Bob.

TSOBO was even more special thanks to the input from KT, a female colleague of the boys, whose inspirational postings and musings quickly became essential reading, being totally different in style and content from most other music bloggers, free from pretension and any effort to appear hip and cool (similar in many ways to Rol over at My Top Ten). KT is currently on maternity leave and rightly dealing with important things in life, but the lads came up with the great idea of putting out a ‘Situation Vacant’ ad on TSOBO, leading to Ed being recruited at the tail end of 2018.

The young man (he is a mere 40-years-old) has huge shoes to fill, but he’s certainly shown a great deal of promise if his early pieces are anything to go by. Here’s one of his as part of the rundown of best albums of 2018:-

According to the popular hairgel advertising sheet, the NME, Bodega are “the most exciting band to have come out of New York since The Strokes”. They are basing this on an appearance at the SXSW festival in Texas earlier in the year. I know what you are saying – these days the singing endorsement of the NME (sponsored by VO5) is enough to finish anyone’s careers. Bodega will be another fly by night over hyped band of nobodies who look identical to the last great hopes of the indie rock world. Yup, me too…

But…

Hang on naysayers…Steve Lamacq the current Lord of Indie is on the radio and he has just played me ‘How Did This Happen?!’

And its bloody brilliant.

Bodega are according to him, the band that literally everyone wants to watch at The Great Escape in Brighton in early May. They are according to him a band that sound like LCD Soundsystem that never went clubbing.

Now I was at the Great Escape this year (I went with my mate Brian) and based on that glowing recommendation from Lammo I queued for an hour to get into the pub that they were playing in, missing Japanese Breakfast in doing so, because its Steve Lamacq and he is always right, right? So in I go.

It was sweaty and it was packed. Folks, I’m 40 years of age, I am probably told old and too married to be seen squashed up against girls more than half my age watching a rock band. But, for once, the NME appear to have got it right, they are the best band to come out of New York since The Strokes (including the Yeah Yeah Yeahs). It is a breathless 30 minutes or so.

Their debut album ‘Endless Scroll’ was released at the start of the summer and it is packed full of punchy, sarky, bossy post punk tracks. Tracks like Gyrate which is definitely the best song you will hear all year about female master debating and tracks like Jack In Titanic, which is basically Pavement wearing pop music hats.

He also offered links to a number of songs from the debut album and I gave them a listen, never having heard of the band until that point in time. The following week, I went out and bought the album on vinyl, delighted to find it came lovingly packaged with a 28-page illustrated lyric booklet, indicating that they and What’s Your Rupture records cared about things.

I’m loving Bodega. Consisting of Ben Hozie (guitar, vocals), Nikki Belfiglio (vocals), Montana Simone (drums), Madison Velding-VanDam (guitar) and Heather Elle (bass), they make music which ticks all my boxes. It’s indie-guitar music packed with wit, energy and ridiculous hooks, delivered with just the right amount of American sassiness that we over here describe all too often call cocky when delivered by one of our own.

mp3 : Bodega – How Did This Happen?!

They even manage to sound good when they slow it down and get reflective, such as on this tribute to a late friend:-

mp3 : Bodega – Charlie

There is a touch of the DIY about Endless Scroll, not in terms of the production which is of a very high standard, but with 14 songs in under 35 minutes, it’s akin to the breathlessness of Glasgow’s very own Breakfast Muff who made one of the great albums of 2017 and who, like Bodega, shift between male and female lead vocals.  Next month, I’ll be going, in the company of Aldo, to see the band play, what I think may well be their debut Scottish gig, when they headline the 700-capacity Glasgow School of Art.

There’s a lot of references specific to their own surroundings in Brooklyn and NYC, with a wry and satirical dig at the hipsters and purveyors of gentrification. There’s the occasional use of computer-voice simulations in-between songs which made me laugh out loud more than it should have, but why not when you hear “I use my computer for everything. Heaven knows I’m miserable now.” It’s pretty much a perfect summary of modern life, which can occasionally be rubbish.

It’ll be interesting to see if Bodega are any good in the live setting – Ed certainly thought they were – and if there is life beyond an exceptional debut. But for now, I’m happy in the haze of both drunken and sober hours to enjoy them

JC

6 thoughts on “REASONS WHY I SHOULD PAY MORE ATTENTION (3)

  1. Bodega are real. Bodega are sublime. Thankfully the last thing I think of when I hear them is The Strokes – making listening to Endless Scroll everything it should be with no reference points to get in the way.
    Charlie takes me back to sounds I started loving in the early 80s.
    Jack In Titanic is a song that should have been on my year end list for 2018. Since it isn’t, that is just a black mark on me.
    How Did This Happen is the next generation singing our generation’s theme song.

  2. Must admit can’t see what the fuss is about. Loved how did this happen but then heard other stuff and it felt a bit pale imitation of that single . I think 6 music over the top 2nd coming patronage also didn’t help. Then again remember feeling exactly the same way about the strokes so what do I know

  3. I loved Jack In Titanic so the album is on my pile. I’ve been too busy practising being pretentious so I can up my blogger cool (says the bloke who has Cliff Richard and Kiss included in his Top Ten today,).

  4. Ah that gig. The beginning of the end of my last relationship …happy times.
    Thanks for the kind words though JC. I’ve been told by the other two that ‘I ain’t nobody in the blogging world until I’ve done an ICA’. So tomorrow whilst my usual class are on a school trip to the beach I’m going to write you one. You’ve all been warned.

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