Bodisartha | Find Yourself Getting Lost (Circleview)

Bodisartha take the loud-soft transition that Cobain stole from Black Francis to the extreme.

 

Nirvana or Pearl Jam? The competition over which of those seminal '90s alterna-rockers deserved to take the throne as Grand Poobah of Grunge is close enough that picking an official winner is pointless, but there is one title for which there is no debate: which band gave birth to the worst knockoffs. Kurt Cobain & Co. may have heralded the arrival of a fair amount of mediocre bands in their day, but none that even comes close to the sheer crapitude of, say, Creed.

Setting their sights on the sound of Aberdeen's finest, Springfield, Mo., trio Bodisartha joins a long list of bands to echo Nirvana's loud-soft dynamics and fuzzed out punk. The results sound, by and large, like a lo-fi version of Failure, which is not a bad place to be. Bodisartha take the loud-soft transition that Cobain stole from Black Francis to the extreme, slinging Josh Thomas' thudding electric guitar and blood-curdling scream vocals onto "Revolution" after 90 seconds of acoustic guitar balladry, only to come to float back down in the song's final seconds. "So Nice Being Warm" thrashes like a cross between Nirvana's gibberish classic "Tourette's" and the lighter "Radio Friendly Unit Shifter," and a nice Melvins homage pops up in the murky guitars and Justin Piatt's whip cracking drums on "Is It a Gay?"

It's nice to see a band influenced by Nirvana that chooses to use the rough edges of Bleach and In Utero as their template instead of the well-worn, radio-ready Nevermind, but the one big play that Bodisartha forgot to swipe from Cobain's songbook is the pop hook. Thomas seems to think that the secret to writing a catchy, memorable song is to repeat the same single line of lyrics over and over and call it a chorus, and while that works on some songs (most notably "Disagree" and "Like a Virus," which manages to infect like a, well, you can imagine), it also gets painfully irritating on others ("Is It a Gay?", "Whey").

The good moments outweigh the bad, however, and the familiarity of Bodisartha's sound isn't the distraction it could have been. Find Yourself Getting Lost is a largely enjoyable debut, even if not a largely original one.

RIYL: Failure, The Vines, Nirvana

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