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Bodega - Our Brand Could Be Yr Life (Album Review)

Friday, 19 April 2024 Written by Jack Press

Photo: Pooneh Ghana

Two years ago, ‘Broken Equipment’ found Bodega throwing post-punk and art-rock into a blender, rejecting the flavours of modern society in favour of their own favourite tastes. Its follow up, ‘Our Brand Could Be Yr Life’ is less consistent – its ingredients are duly coated in anti-consumerist sentiment, but the recipe is off. The result? A bloated, uneven tasting menu that leaves you feeling as empty as you do full. 

Opener Dedicated To The Dedicated plays it safe, slipping through the cracks of R.E.M.’s trademark jangle-pop, before G.N.D. Deity’s bassline bobs like children for apples. The gears begin to shift as Bodega Bait deftly questions “What is the difference between an artist and an advertiser?” over the kind of hazy indie-rock Modest Mouse made their money on in the mid-noughties. 

Album highlight Tarkovski offers up the quintessential indie anthem, as magical melodies and infectious hooks collide with philosophical references. 

But what goes up must come down. Major Amberson is a sluggish slow dance through America’s jangle-pop past and Set The Controls For The Heart sounds like a dissonantly weird demo that shouldn’t have made the cut. The one-minute Born Into By What Consumes is a Flaming Lips B-Side that’ll have you bugging out until something better comes along.

The three-song suite Cultural Consumer is a last-minute reprieve, a sharp art-pop reminder of why Bodega are brilliant — few bands can write music so catchy it leaves you endlessly debating whether we consume culture so much we forget to create it. But, ultimately, ‘Our Brand Could Be Yr Life’ leaves you wanting more, wondering just how many wrong turns they took to get here.

Bodega Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Tue May 28 2024 - BRIGHTON Concorde 2
Tue October 15 2024 - NOTTINGHAM Rescue Rooms
Wed October 16 2024 - LEEDS Brudenell Social Club
Thu October 17 2024 - GLASGOW Room 2
Fri October 18 2024 - NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE Cluny
Sat October 19 2024 - BIRMINGHAM Future Days
Mon October 21 2024 - CAMBRIDGE Junction 2
Tue October 22 2024 - SHEFFIELD Crookes Social Club
Wed October 23 2024 - BRISTOL Bristol Beacon - Lantern Hall
Thu October 24 2024 - LONDON EartH (Hall)

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