Endless Scroll

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With a happily scrappy sound, a snarky attitude, and hooks for days, Bodega make a case for themselves as the best band in Brooklyn (and other places) with their debut album, Endless Scroll. The album is produced by Austin Brown on the same tape machine Parquet Courts used to record Light Up Gold, and that's a good starting point for reference. Though the two bands share an angularity and sideways way of writing pop songs, Bodega are less Pavement and more New Young Pony Club, less the Fall and more Delta 5. Their snappy tunes are built for sweaty dancefloors, and many of them sound like jaggedly drawn LCD Soundsystem demos. Singer Ben Hozie has a shouty, humorously bratty style full of ironic disdain that makes everything they say cut like a rusty knife; Nikki Belfiglio's slightly less shouty vocals are a nice counterpoint. The duo sing about overpriced smoothies, how cool Jack from Titanic was, computer addiction, and the struggles of moving, while the band works behind them like a well-maintained motor, tightly wound and always pushing forward. Tracks like "Can't Knock the Hustle," "How Did This Happen?!," and "I Am Not a Cinephile" have a squirming punk punch; "Gyrate" and "Bookmarks" bounce and tussle like the offspring of the Gang of Four and the B52s; the raging "Truth Is Not Punishment" threatens to set speakers on fire; and even when they dial it down a notch or two, like on "Williamsburg Bridge" or the super-poppy "Jack in Titanic," the guitars have a gnarly bite and the vocals don't let up. The energy Bodega play with and the punchy sound they get would be enough to make Endless Scroll worth hearing; when the often hilarious words, the main duo's vocal prowess, and the huge hooks are added, the album becomes something really special. Bodega aren't doing anything new or unusual, as the easy-to-grasp reference points make clear, but they make it all sound factory-fresh and super-fun -- and because of those two factors, fans of any of the bands mentioned above will likely find Endless Scroll quite worth checking out.

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