Monday, March 1
EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!!!!! WITH BOMB THE MUSIC INDUSTRY!!!!!!!!!!
Artist: Bomb The Music Industry!
Album: Adults!!!... Smart!!! Shithammered!!! And Excited By Nothing!!!!!!
Short Review: Adults!!! isn't a perfect outing, but you would be hard pressed to find a better free EP recorded in five days.
Long Review: Bomb The Music Industry! have been doing quite the victory lap since its excellent 2009 album Scrambles. First there was the B-side collection Others! Others!, then a split with Laura Stevenson and The Cans and now a new seven song EP recorded, mixed and mastered in five days.
Adults!!! continues the same themes that Scrambles touched on, but with a less cheerful outcome. Even when primary songwriter Jeff Rosenstock was worried about being jobless, he was still finding time to appreciate sunsets and playing Rock Band until two AM. Scrambles was very good at balancing bummed-out attitudes with upbeat songs and small moments of emotional release. This EP lacks both of those elements, making it a bit more of a depressing listen.
Rosenstock is still not too sure about this whole “being a grown up” stuff. Adults!!! finds him questioning his living situation (the poppy-piano song “Slumloard”), imagining his own funeral (“Planning My Own Death,” a punked-up throwback to BTMI's earlier albums) second guessing his relationships (the triumphant “You Still Believe In Me?”) and even questioning his musical career (the morose “All Ages Show”). As usual, Rosenstock comes off as charming and relateable; he is still able to make very specific, personal stories feel universal. His development as a lyric writer continues to push him further from the pack and closer to the Schwarzenbachs and Kellys of the punk world.
Still, Adults!!!'s misses seem to standout more than its hits. The biggest bummer is “All Ages Show,” which is a slower, more chaotic song in the same vein of “Wednesday Night Drinkball” or “All Alone In My Big Empty Apartment,” but without the appeal of either. These types of songs are often Rosenstock's weakest, and that holds true on this EP. The other questionable track is the record-closing “Struggler,” which goes on a little bit too long (albeit comically so), and never quite sticks in its development.
The rest of the EP, however, is fucking gravy. “You Still Believe In Me?” and “The First Time I Met Sanawon” are both typical BTMI: shouty gang vocals, kitchen sink arrangements, controlled chaos that somehow works. “Slumlord,” while being the poppiest the band has gotten since Get Warmer's opening tracks, is also one of the most fun and uplifting “fuck you”s written in some time.
Adults!!! isn't a perfect outing, but you would be hard pressed to find a better free EP recorded in five days. If nothing else, it proves true what Rosenstock says on “Sanawon,” a turn of phrase destined to become a modern punk mantra: “I will do my best to never get tired.”
Key Tracks: You Still Believe In Me?, The First Time I Met Sanawon, Slumlord, Planning My Death
Buy, Steal, Skip: Get this shit for free, man!