Bomb the Music Industry!
Scrambles


4.5
superb

Review

by Brent Stephenson USER (67 Reviews)
March 18th, 2009 | 1346 replies | 43,545 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: This is everything a BTMI! album should be. Scratch that. This is everything a great album should be.

7 of 7 thought this review was well written

How in the world can one band manage to be so overwhelmingly fun? How can a band consisting of an ever changing lineup manage to craft such focused music? How can a "punk" band cram so many seemingly random instruments into one song, and never fail to make them feel like they belong there? These are just some of the questions that have been raised in my mind after listening to Bomb The Music Industry!'s newest offering, Scrambles. Though Scrambles is quite a perplexing choice for the album's title, a quick glance at the album's linear notes (or the album's page on the Quote Unquote Records website) makes the reasons for the rather odd choice abundantly clear. Nearly 20 different musicians are present in the recording, either playing one of the album's numerous instruments, or simply shouting in the background, and the album was recorded, in chunks, in somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 different recording spaces.

Though the odds against an album recorded in 10 different studios* by about 20 different musicians coming out sounding clear and focused would seem to be astronomically high, Scrambles has somehow managed to beat those odds. Throughout the album's near 40 minute duration, there is nary a misstep to be found, and every single member of what should be an overly large supporting cast of musicians contributes something interesting and unique. From the odd conglomeration of acoustic guitars, trombones, chimes, and sleigh bells on album opener Cold Chillin' Cold Chillin', to the raucous "punk rock" instrumentation of 25! mixed with crashing piano, to the frantic ska-punk stylings of (Shut) Up The Punx!!!, all the songs on offer here manage to be fairly varied and refreshing, while still retaining the overt catchiness that made their previous efforts so enjoyable (although the catchiness has been upped quite a bit here, so "contagiousness" would probably be a better word). While all of BTMI!'s albums have contained a certain level of, well, unbridled joy, Scrambles is the first offering from the band that really ups the focus on innovative musicianship, which isn't to say that it was absent from their previous outings, but it is far more noticeable here. Aside from the previously mentioned additives into their usual mixture of guitars, drums, bass, and synth, a whole slew of extra instruments have found their way into the mix here. Trumpets, drum machines, stylophones (not sure what that is exactly), melodicas, saxophones, banjos, and even a Wurlitzer have been included in the album, and somehow, nothing ever feels out of place or cluttered.

Everything else you've come to expect from BTMI! is on display here as well. Jeff Rosenstock's vocal performances are just as energetic as they've always been, and the lyrics appear to be even more tongue in cheek than usual, with Jeff spouting off a seemingly neverending slew of one liners, like "I don’t wanna be part of this line for lines, long line for lines." and "When I’m out these days I do is complain about the booming bass and the ***ty DJ because if I wanted to go to a dance club, I’d own a bottle of Brut, a closet full of Christian Dior, and I’d be in a different room." There were a few instances on previous efforts where Rosenstock would almost seem to run out of steam, which is understandable seeing as how he would often cram a paragraphs worth of lyrics into a few seconds worth of shouting, but instances like that are almost completely absent from scrambles, with a more pronounced focus on group vocals being mostly responsible. The subject matter of the songs is fairly varied, from the chuckle inducing "It Sh*ts!" where the phrase "it sucks" has been replaced with the title thanks to a habit of Sean McCabe, or the ode to living with your parents found in "Fresh Attitude, Young Body"**, just about every song here deals with something that somebody should be able to relate to.

All things considered, there isn't much else Bomb The Music Industry! could have done to make this album any better than it already is. With the inclusion of so many of their like minded friends, BMTI! has managed to pull off an album that would have been nearly impossible to create otherwise, an album that ended up being just about as close to the embodiment of DIY ethics you can get (the whole thing was made for $50 for Pete's sake). Sure, you could get the whole thing for free from their website, just like the rest of their discography, but I challenge any listener to do so without feeling just a little bit guilty after they hear just how much hard work (not to mention things like "heart" and "soul") was put into this album.

*7 actual studios and other places are mentioned by name, but "various friends apartments" are also mentioned, bringing the total to 9+
**You can visit the album's page at the Quote Unquote site for a more detailed description on what the lyrical content of each song deals with/what inspired them.



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user ratings (438)
Chart.
4.2
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
marksellsuswallets
March 18th 2009



4848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Putting the artwork up now...didn't add the album so I couldn't do it before I posted the review. Album is crazy awesome.

Ok well the image I'm trying to upload is a .jpg but I guess there's something wrong with the image upload feature so I guess this will just have to have no album art for a while.

Nvm got it.This Message Edited On 03.18.09

flamethisuser
March 18th 2009



395 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

fantastic album, btmi!'s best yet. rosenstock's lyrics really make this for me, coming off as sarcastic and clever while still retaining emotional resonance.

Kiran
Emeritus
March 18th 2009



6000 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I don't know what to rate this yet but it doesn't steal Album Minus Band's place as my favourite BTMI album.

Digging: Spoon - They Want My Soul

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
March 18th 2009



20855 Comments


This sounds very interesting and I’ve never had the chance to listen to these guys. Great review Brent… Worthy of a pos in fact.

marksellsuswallets
March 18th 2009



4848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks a bunch. If you've never checked them out you should definitely do so, especially since all of their albums are free off their website.

armfarm
March 18th 2009



576 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

fresh attitude, young body is one of the best BTMI songs ever

Curse.
Contributing Reviewer
March 18th 2009



7970 Comments


Scrambles the Death Dealer

Athom
Staff Reviewer
March 18th 2009



17197 Comments


great review. getting now.

marksellsuswallets
March 18th 2009



4848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'm 99% sure they stole this cover idea from Less Than Jake...just a thought...

tom79
March 19th 2009



3363 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review. I just downloaded this and listening to it now, it sounds great so far. BTMI is always fun.

Digging: Joyce Manor - Never Hungover Again

marksellsuswallets
March 19th 2009



4848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Fun doesn't even come close...delightful would be more appropriate but that isn't even completely accurate.

XXXpickemgenius
March 19th 2009



139 Comments


Gang of Four is insane.


Scratch that...


The whole albums is insane.




marksellsuswallets
March 19th 2009



4848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Is that a play on my status or was that unintentional? haha

XXXpickemgenius
March 20th 2009



139 Comments


:D



Joeeddstealschickens
March 29th 2009



110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Really great album with the exception of Gang of Four and $2,400,000 both of which i find real boring. The rest is great though. Sorta Like Being Pumped, Fresh Attitude Young Body, Saddr Weirdr, (Shut) Up The Punx and 25! are amazing amazing songs.

Kiran
Emeritus
April 3rd 2009



6000 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, this is amazing but I still love Album Minus Band more.

Lucid
Contributing Reviewer
April 10th 2009



7021 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I never really got into The Streetlight Manifesto, but I am loving the sound of this band.

Digging: Shabazz Palaces - Lese Majesty

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
April 10th 2009



3762 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

This is so cool

Digging: Towers - Bel Air Highrise Plantation

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
April 11th 2009



3762 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

And when I finally got to work today, I ate my Subway sandwich, and I drank my Coca-Cola Classic, and then I ate my Sunchips and I thought about the weekend when I'd fill up my Ford van with Mobil brand gas and drive to the Clear Channel venue and I'd drink myself a Budweiser and play my Fender guitar through my Fender amplifier and tell the kids with a straight face through a Shure microphone and JBL speakers that corporate rock is for suckers.

theearthisnthumming
April 13th 2009



23 Comments


Great review, i'll definitely check this out.



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