Making fun of modern fun
There is clearly no shortage of politically charged art currently, but Bodega doesn’t just stop at politics. On Endless Scroll, the New York-based band criticizes nearly every aspect of modern life, from the administration to social media to consumerism. And with the album weighing in at 14 tracks, it is clear that Bodega has a lot to say.
“How Did This Happen!?” is the perfect taste test to the punk-filled, society-directed anger that overflows on this album. Ben Hozie sings “It’s new world now don’t discriminate / Everyone is equally a master and a slave” in a The B-52’s’ “Rock Lobster” shouty fashion with background harmonies by Nikki Belfiglio, the other half of the band’s songwriting duo. They ask “How did this happen?”—more specifically, how did mankind get to this point? This question sets the tone for the next 13 tracks.
Although the witty, thought-provoking lyrics definitely pack a punch, the first four tracks do not offer much musical variation. With forceful drum beats and the same sing-speaking style, the tracks bleed together. Although following a similar formula, the plateau begins to break up with more aggressive tracks like “I Am Not A Cinephile” and “Can’t Knock the Hustle,” an anti-Capitalism anthem.
The second half of the album picks up with songs like “Jack in Titanic” and “Williamsburg Bridge,” offering more musically intricate tunes and a ‘90s grunge vibe. On “Bookmarks,” Bodega certainly pulls no punches when attacking the normalities of technology addiction. Hozie chants “Same things go in my body / Same thoughts fill my brain… All day at work, stare at computer / Come home from work, stare at computer / Do my own work, stare at computer / Rest and relax, stare at computer.” It could even be argued that the lyrics could benefit from a dose of subtlety.
After 11 punk-infused tracks, “Charlie” is a big surprise. The song stands out as a relatively gentle track with highlighted guitar as opposed to the other drum-heavy songs. Hozie beautifully muses “On that Staten Island ferry, I was with you my friend / I see your face in the river, I am with you, my friend.” His mournful “Now lately I’ve been trying to live outside of the dream / But I never really knew what that was supposed to mean,” ends the song on a melancholy note.
Just like “How Did This Happen?!” is the perfect opener, “Truth Is Not Punishment” is an excellent choice to close off this album. The energetic, punchy rock tune shows off dreary anecdotal lyrics juxtaposed with a fun brew of thrashing layers of guitar and pounding drum.
Endless Scroll is a funky musical version of Bodega’s seemingly never-ending list of everything wrong with society. But Bodega is self-aware, not pretentious; they aren’t just teasing everyone else, but they are mocking themselves. This impactful album force feeds listeners a heaping spoonful of much-needed self-reflection.