By Venus Rittenberg, Editorial Director
[What’s Your Rupture?; 2022]
Key tracks: Thrown, Doers, How Can I Help Ya
Broken Equipment sees Bodega improving upon their already noteworthy work from Endless Scroll, an album that emerged amidst a flourishing third wave of post-punk that was sweeping America and Europe with bands like Parquet Courts, IDLES, and many more. There were many incredible bands in this scene, and I went through a huge phase of obsessing over it during Summer 2020 – this is when I discovered Bodega. They were not my favorite band in the scene, but they were doing something unique with their lyrics. There was specificity to them that made them stand out. They were also loaded with references to other music that I was a fan of which also made them noteworthy. Ultimately, they were very catchy, groovy post punk, and at the time, that was what I craved.
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I kind of have grown out of that phase (although listening to this album has begun to launch me back into it), but when I saw Bodega had a new album out, I thought “I have to listen to this.” Needless to say, I was thoroughly impressed. It was one of the better albums the scene had produced over the past couple of years, and a definite improvement on their previous efforts. It’s even catchier, even groovier, and with even better lyrics.
This is very apparent on the first two tracks, “Thrown” and “Doers.” Both songs are political tracks dealing with the shortcomings of our culture. “Thrown” is more introspective; “Doers” examines contemporary life, claiming “This city’s made for the doers / The movers, shakers, health food reviewers,” very subtly making clear digs at the pretentious gentrifiers that infect our cities.
“Statuette on the Console” features Nikki Belfiglio on vocals rather than the usual Ben Hozie, and the song is incredibly catchy; It’s an easy highlight. Another highlight is “How Can I Help Ya”. This song is also more introspective, but still has political undertones. The music is also reminiscent of the 80s new wave scene. “After Jane” closes out the album with a beautiful, somber, and personal track about an old relationship. The song takes a dark turn, referencing this person’s struggle with drugs. It is tragic, but in a way very pretty. It’s a great way to close out the album.
Broken Equipment is an excellent album for those who are into modern post punk. It shines as a highlight of the early 20s scene, and makes me excited to see where Bodega goes from here. It also excites me to know that this scene is still alive and blooming, and that there is much more to discover.