Review Summary: I've never been in love, but I saw BtMI! once.
Being a Bomb the Music Industry! fan was so much fun.
They would release albums with little to no warning, and once the album was released, you could obtain it in a matter of seconds on their website easily, freely, and legally. Also, a BtMI! fan never knew exactly what they were in for upon first listen. Before listening, they generally knew what to expect. They knew it was going to be loud, they knew it was going to be fast, and they sure as hell knew it was going to be fun. However, when they clicked “play”, they couldn’t imagine what could possibly happen. Why is that? Tempo changes, key changes, time-signature changes, erratic rants, rage-fueled outbursts, and eccentric “DA DA DA”s are all familiar ground to these DIY punks, which only ups the replay value on the already brilliant ska-punk.
The short length of the album allows for versatility between songs. You have the ballad-esque “All-Ages Shows”, the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it (length AND tempo wise) “Planning My Death”, and the feel-good closer “Struggler” (even if the lyrics display the exact opposite). You also have a very wide variety of instruments showcased in these 22 minutes, including saxophone, trombone, glockenspiel, and something called a farfisa organ. Wait a minute, these instruments? In a ska/punk album? Sounds like they’d clash with the breakneck-speed guitars, drums, and keyboards, right? Wrong. They feel right at home on tracks such as “You Still Believe In Me?” and “Slumlord”. As a matter of fact, the album would sound empty without the blaring horns throughout.
What’s a BtMI! release without the ridiculous, yet always relatable, lyrics screamed at the top of Jeff Rosenstock’s lungs? Adults!!! is no exception, “You Still Believe In Me?”’s lyrics are of common subject for the band, talking about personal problems (“I need constant attention / Or else I’m gonna get distracted / But even if you tell me something / I can’t guarantee I’m listening”). This is part of the brilliance of the record, and the band in general. Jeff knows he’s a pile of ***, and he knows you are, too. Highlight lyrics include “I am a babbling brook / You are a pile of bricks / You’ll stop the flood / and it will make me sick”, “If the slightest shove can shatter, crush, and vaporize your bones / How do they expect you to deal with stones?”, and my personal favorite lyric, lines switching between Jeff and a female vocalist, “Let’s have a conversation about anything / I’m tired of arguing, it isn’t fun for me / Reverse psychology, instead of just listening up / That always seemed stupid to me”. I used to actually use the first two lines on my ex-girlfriend, it ended a lot of fights. Thanks BtMI!
It’s difficult to choose stand-out tracks on this EP. Not only due to its short length, but also because it’s brilliant ska/punk, front to back. From “You Sill Believe In Me?”, you’re captured by the fuzz guitars and the complex drum pattern, carried on by the dancy “Slumlord”, to hanging on every word Jeff has to say on “All Ages Shows”, all the way to “Struggler”, which strangely, but perfectly, closes the album. It’s a perfect synopsis of the album. It has the depressing-yet-optimistic lyrics, screaming vocals, abstract instrumentation, and random outbursts. And, in the last 40 seconds of the track, the last 40 seconds of the album, when you listen to the random shredding, the cymbals crashing, the female vocalist screeching “I DON’T WANNA GO OUTSIII-II-II-I-IIDE”, and as you make out what appears to be the main riff in “Sweet Child O’ Mine”, you realize just how much fun music can be, how much fun this band can be, and how much fun this album undoubtedly is.