It’s a lesson that rock’n’roll has to learn over and over and over again: keep it simple, stupid. Guitar, bass, drums and vocals that value enthusiasm over pitch: that and a few great riffs are all you need. The Stooges, the Sex Pistols, Nirvana, the White Stripes: every generation of rock’n’roll needs a back to basics. This New York City act could be that band in 2018.
There is nothing remotely original about Bodega (not to be confused with the ’90s indie rock band from Toronto): one can draw a straight line from The Fall to Pavement to Le Tigre to here. There is one less obvious reference point: Toronto’s Barcelona Pavilion (2001-05), to which Bodega bears an uncanny resemblance—though that band was obscure enough that it’s unlikely to ever come up in conversation (but if, like me, you remember them as one of the most exciting acts of the so-called “Torontopia” movement of the time, it’s hard to unhear the comparsion).
These three women and two men are too effective as players to be considered amateurish; they simply know how to utilize the bare minimum for maximum impact. Co-lead vocalists Nikki Belfiglio and Ben Hozie are neither singers nor rappers—they’re more like sloganeers, articulating the ennui of the digital generation (“All day at work / stare at computer! / come home from work / stare at computer! / do my own work / stare at computer!”) and documenting the mundanities of everything from moving boxes to masturbation.
"Your playlist knows you better than your closest lover," shouts Hozie at one point. If you have Bodega on your playlist, at the very least it means you’re funny, critical of consumer culture, suspicious of people who can’t interact IRL, and have long fantasized about forming a rock band with your closest friends, if you haven’t already. (July 27)
Stream: “How Did This Happen?” “I Am Not a Cinephile,” “Bookmarks”