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Photo by Mert Gafuroglu

Live in Portland August 12 | Bunk Bar

One gets the feeling that New York-based art-punk rockers BODEGA know that they’re good. Their ambitious debut album Endless Scroll (2018)–a wonderful compact manifesto on the dangers of technology, social media and capitalism–delivers a meaningful message with CliffNotes-like efficiency and no shortage of hooks.

True. Everyone who grew up with the internet is already familiar with the depressing dangers of screen-saturation and the non-stop news cycle. But BODEGA’s commentary is refreshingly-relatable all the same; especially because of standout songwriting that feels equal parts sympathetic and sardonic to society’s techno-malaise. It’s a catchy catch-22 where you can tell that BODEGA’s sharpest criticisms are always based on their very own experiences in our tech-filled world.

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Musically, the band is streamlined. Driving arrangements and shared vocal duties between Ben Hozie and Nikki Belfiglio give hints of rock greats like The B-52s and Talking Heads. And what’s that? A hint of early Modest Mouse? And although BODEGA wears a few of its influences on its sleeves, the band has a strong sense of self and a robust musical vocabulary that most new acts are still trying to find at this point in their careers.

In particular, standout vocals from Hozie and Belfiglio are delivered with an almost stump speech quality that immediately demand and capture your attention. Loud, funny, disgruntled and always on message, BODEGA might be the most fun thing since Bernie Sanders. And like Bernie Sanders, BODEGA puts on a hell of a live show too. Good job New York.