Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Bogart-The Love LP

June 1, 2006

Band Name: Bogart
Album Name: The Love LP
Best Element: The small instrumental portions hidden throughout
Genre: Indie Rock
Website: www.morawk.com/bogart
Label Name: Generic Equivalent Records
Band E-mail: bogart@morawk.com

When I was first handed Bogart’s album, I had hopes of some great new experimental or quirky music- mostly because of the artsy collage on the album cover featuring people with their eyes cut out. What I received wasn’t far from what I was wishing for. Bogart’s junior attempt The Love LP sounds as if it will simply be just another album overloaded with teen angst and songs to feel depressed to, but in actuality it is completely different.

The album opens with “Power Marketing”, which resounds with a, well, powerful melody. Ben Bogart’s vocals are extremely promising, until the chorus comes around and background vocals are introduced, making it sound as if the two members singing are not exactly on the same page. But, luckily for us, Bogart’s best quality is its ability to redeem itself after a few small quirks. The following track “Love” is proof. A few power chords into the song, a cowbell chimes in to the beat, reminding me of Will Ferrel’s classic “More Cowbell” SNL skit.

In any case, if a band is able to successfully incorporate a cowbell, recorder, or kazoo into their music, then that band is definitely worth a listen. As promised, Ben Bogart redeems himself in the vocal department by delivering a beautiful performance towards the end of “Love”. After another few tracks, the listener hits the bright spot, “Carcrash,” which has by far the catchiest melody and best lyrics in the entire album. This track is a pivotal turning point. Almost all of the songs occurring after “Carcrash” show a more experimental side of the band. “When Yr. Blue” is just a simple, upbeat ditty that is quickly contrasted by the downtrodden instrumental “Someone Still Loves You Sally Mathias” that sounds akin to something that Air would produce. “You Can’t Stop Christmas it Creeps” ends in an amazing instrumental section with some great guitar layering. I wonder what Bogart was thinking when they recorded “For Our Mothers”- the final sixteen minute track is filled with ambient noise, repeating robotic chants, about thirty seconds of music that sounds like it came straight out of a Lord of the Rings movie, and finally ends in another little ditty with a guitar and keyboard combination that sounds like it came out of a Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! album.

In the end, Bogart shows that they can embrace all sorts of effects in their music, whether it be a lo-fi ditty, ambient noise, or straightforward guitar chords. This is an album that needs repeated listening before the full effect can be felt and all the little quirks can be connected to see a bigger, deeper album.

-Mark Pranger

markysparky2007@yahoo.com

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Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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