Review Summary: Bomb the Music Industry! pull in the reins on their former spontaneity for a more personal approach.
Bomb the Music Industry! has never been a band to take a step back to calculate what the public would think of their music. They have a curious nature about the way they compose their records in the sense that they have never been conventional or even remotely focused. It has always been a scrambled and spastic jumble of songs that should seemingly be terrible, but yet it is quite the opposite. Since their debut record, Album Minus Band
, they have been spitting in the face of convention and holding their combined energy atop the list of to-do’s. So, what happens when a band as atypical as Bomb the Music Industry! makes a record that is, by all visible characteristics, completely normal? Progression.
Opening track of BTMI!’s fresh release, Vacation
, begins with a sobering melody. Fans of the group’s former insanity will be caught off guard when it doesn’t begin with a stampede of electronics and barely audible shouts from Jeff Rosenstock. Instead, the listener is greeted with something fresh and unexpected – a simple rhythm and Rosenstock utilizing a more standard singing style. Track two, ‘Vocal Coach’ picks the tempo up with a more traditional pop-punk jam, but still there are no signs of that abrasive flame of youthful energy and fury. This strange transformation has been glimpsed at on past releases, but it never quite reached the concentrated state that is shown on the majority of Vacation
. But this is by no means a bad thing for the group; in fact it’s rather brilliant. Bomb the Music Industry! have taken down that bubble of security and shot for a new direction for themselves. Instead of incredible party-fueled tunes, they have latched onto a more personal and traditional approach while still containing some of that former punch.
This hyper-personal style shines its brightest on tracks eight and ten, ‘Why, Oh Why, Oh Why (Oh Oh Oh Oh)’ and ‘Can’t Complain’. They contain a remarkable spark of energy, but still have a melancholic bite. Rosenstock knows what he is doing with his writing and acknowledges that this self-aware approach is a smart move both for himself and for his band. No longer a group of misfit rockers, Bomb the Music Industry! introduce us to a new, refreshing band of fantastic performers that could easily slip back to their spastic roots and still make a record as fantastic and engaging as Vacation
should they ever feel the need. For the time being, however, Vacation
will serve as an explanation for all those bombastic tracks that fueled the adrenaline in their records - a personal album with a pulsing heart with no shame or regret.