NYC’s Bodega have massive expectations from their fanbase for this second studio album, the follow-up to impressive debut Endless Scroll.
The band and film makers are an acerbic riot of humour, self-awareness and leftwing politics and musically fall somewhere between the sarcastic indie snarl of Pavement and the insistent house party groove of LCD Soundsystem. In essence, they’re arch hipsters fully cognisant of their arch hipsterdom, with lyrics that arch an eyebrow at any prevailing trend.
On the surface then, it’s business as usual. The driving energy is still intact, the lyrics still both worldly wise but young enough to see some reason to get out of bed. Tracks like Thrown and Doers have that trademark shouty interplay between Ben Hozie and Nikki Belfiglio.
Only this time, there’s a little more introspection and the kind of poppy tang which ensures that Sonic Youth or Parquet Courts get daytime airplay, with punchy melody lines. The almost -love song Pillar On The Bridge Of You even posits real life couple Hozie and Belfiglio as the kind of people who finish each other’s sentences. It should be nauseating. It’s not at all… it’s rather sweet.
But the most startling addition is Hozie’s raw lullaby to his late mother, After Jane. It’s raw and direct, with acoustic guitar and the sound of crashing waves, but deftly eschews easy sentimentality and is all the more affecting and beautiful for it.
It may not be a huge departure from the debut, then, but when it’s a winning formula, why change too much? Their OK Computer can wait. Progress takes time.
Out today via What’s Your Rupture.