In a year that has seen a fare share of major label debuts from previously indie-only bands (Interpol, and uh, that one band with Warren Oakes), it's nice to know that there are some bands that are as far away from major label-dom and mainstream success as possible, yet are making music just as noteworthy and important as the biggest Billboard powerhouses.
I am speaking, of course, of Bomb the Music Industry!. This Georgia-by-way-of-Long Island musical collective has been making waves for a few years now, not just because they've made three (now four) awesome albums, but because they've offered all their music for free download from their website.
Their latest offering, Get Warmer is actually their first album to receive a physical release (on legendary Asian Man Records). And it is not just a departure for the band in the sense that one can actually hold the album, but in the musical styling as well. On previous albums, the band played an eclectic style of punk rock with heavy doses of ska and electronic elements, as well as borrowing bits and pieces from various other genres. This time around, all of those ingredients have been whipped together to the point where they run together nearly seamlessly. The opening track, "Jobs Schmobs," starts off with nearly inaudible vocals over a lone guitar (for about a minute) and then explodes into Dillinger Four-esque punk rock...with horns and organ. It is typical BTMI! fare, but at the same time, something strikingly different. That is the theme for the entire album.
The next track "349 Ruth" is the best, catchiest song on the album and could be a hit...if that were something that maestro Jeff Rosenstock cared about. The song abandons a straight-punk approach and becomes more of a rock song. It has plenty of horns though and a "whooooa whoooooa whoa" chorus that will burn its way into your head after one listen.
The track "Unlimited Breadsticks, Soup and Salad Days" is a folky shout-along, vaguely reminiscent of "Syke! Life Is Awesome!" from 2005's To Leave or Die in Long Island. The song is about being broke, which is a theme many people can relate to and many bands have tried to convey. Being broke holds a very special place in BTMI!'s collective heart, so they do a great job singing about it. The next track, the bluesy "No Rest for the Whiney," carries on the theme, but with even better results.
The goofiest, most notable song on the album is the riotous "I Don't Love You Anymore." It's starts off like a silly Motown song, but quickly reveals itself to be another silly BTMI! shout-along (which is a very good thing).
This might not be the best BTMI! album (there are a few sludgy songs, like closer, "The Last Party (Foul)," which is the worst BTMI! album closer to date), but it is a solid album in its own right. It is also a promising album because it demonstrates the ability of Mr. Rosenstock and crew to progress musically and not miss a beat.