Bomb the Music Industry! isn’t just a band name for its large collection of members; it is also something of a manifesto for the band. As it turns out, they are not exactly ‘bombing’ the music industry, but instead are standing, facing it with middle finger raised confidently and proudly. By allowing fans to download all three of their albums (including this one) for free they make ALL of the ‘professionals’ in the music industry look like huge sell-outs for charging money for their music. This business ethic is certainly very admirable and is the main reason why a lot of their fans have discovered them – by downloading their album(s) knowing they have nothing to lose. However, while being so far from the traditional music industry they have no chance of successfully ‘bombing’ the music industry – save for some kind of musical revolution… Usually third albums are where revolutions happen, it is sort of a ‘now or never’, ‘do or die’, ‘sink or swim’ album for bands. A band’s debut announces them to fans and sets up their stall, so to speak; a band’s sophomore album is an opportunity to either to cement their status or build on the one that their debut gave them. By album number three they have normally already caught people’s attention and these people have at least some idea what to expect. It is a band’s duty
to either meet that expectation or shatter it. It is ‘make or break’ time. However, in contrast to the last 103 words or so Bomb the Music Industry! neither ‘make’ (meet) or ‘break’ people’s expectations with ‘Goodbye Cool World’. While sometimes they tread new ground successfully, they too often fail in attempting to recreate the chaotic mix of punk, ska and synth pop on their last two albums.
After speaking so thoroughly of expectations of band’s third albums, it is only right to say what people’s expectation of this must have been. After listening to the bands previous efforts: ‘Album Minus Band’ and ‘To Leave or Die in Long Island’ (both released in 2005) most people would have expected the album to be joyfully chaotic yet under control, allowing the music to be digestible without taking anything away from the joyful chaos. Album opener ‘Old and Unprofessional’
confirms half of this theory, in that it is very raw and very fun. However, the short furious and crazy noise is just that – noise. It is a very worrying start to the album. In fact where the fast songs on ‘old’ albums were the strongest, here they are without question the weakest. Songs like ‘From Martyrdom to Star(tyr)dom’
and ‘It’s Official! We’re Borrrring!’
far from being boring, so not a clue where they got this idea from!) are too fast for their own good as they leave no impression whatsoever, and have no standard points which is disappointing.
There are a fair few fast songs on the album, and only one of them is actually good, and that song is ‘King of Minneapolis pts. III & IV’
. It is just as lively as some of the other songs on the album, but is perhaps the only time where the pace is well controlled. It also mixes ska with ridiculously fast punk making it one of the more enjoyable songs on the album. Its predecessor ‘King of Minneapolis pts. I & II’
is more mild but still doesn’t lose it’s craziness as Jeff Rosenstock sings “I nearly drank myself to death!” in a deliriously happy voice. It is a very strong song with time changes from 4/4 to 6/8 and a cool keyboard riff that sounds suspiciously like the Pacman theme. Unusual time signatures are not exactly what you’d expect, but it’s what you get every so often. For example the chorus of ‘Grudge Report’
is in 7/4 which is interesting as it doesn’t allow Rosenstock to break for air after each repetition of “I’ll take my chances and go it alone”. It is mainly acoustic throughout, but builds up into a chaotic yet ‘large’ sounding chorus.
While the fast songs here might not be as good as on previous albums, the slower songs, or mid-tempo songs have improved tremendously and are some of the strongest songs on the album. It is the ‘slower’ songs which save the album from being a fast, drunken mess as they offer a break from the energy and are actually in most cases very good songs in their own right. Often they use their reggae/ska influences to create mid-tempo songs that while still fairly energetic, are more subdued and are somewhat relaxing. The best example of this is the hilariously titled or embarrassingly titled, take your pick, ‘Sorry, Brooklyn. Dancing Won’t Solve Anything.’
. In comparison to other songs on the album it is very slow, yet it is still at a danceable speed and has a very nice atmosphere indeed. However, the song ‘My Response to an Article in Alternative Press’
sums up what is good and bad about the album better than any other song here. It alternates between bouncy ska with the occasional blasting trumpet, which works exceedingly well; and the punk which is much too fast and lets it down.
So overall, while Bomb the Music Industry! have changed quite considerably, the change from their fast punk and ska isn’t what you have to worry about – it’s when they decide to stay with the fast punk and ska that you need to worry! If you liked the acoustic songs on their other albums then you’ll probably like this but if you preferred their punk songs then you may find yourself a tad disappointed here. However, the album is good, and at times-great; but it is let down by fast and furious songs that move too fast to hit the target. They are crazy just for the sake of it. Never mind, there are pills that they can take to control the craziness… there are also pills we
can take to enjoy the craziness a little more.