Bombs Over Providence - Shake Your Body Politic
Release Date: October 25, 2005
Record Label: Underground Operations
My days of praising the Southern Ontario-Canadian political punk scene are over. 2005 has seen the break up three punk rock super powers in that scene Closet Monster, The Brat Attack, and of course, Bombs Over Providence. Fortunately for the latter, they were able to release a stellar debut (irony?) full length before their destruction in December 2005. The album I speak of is the Shake Your Body Politic and anybody who has studied philosophy knows that this title is a play on Plato's Body Politik, and is just a preview of the apt philosophical, social and political commentary found on this punk-pop gem.
It is safe to assume that Bombs Over Providence was and will forever be a band that resides in relative obscurity, however Shake Your Body Politic was much too ambitious and infectious to have brought about the disbandment of these Brampton, Ontario punks. All of the songs on this record contain innumerable hooks to have to smiling and singing along in no time at all. Bombs was one of the rare bands that could both educate and entertain the listener. And although this is far from a history or politics textbook, the band captures the power of anarchism and social revolution within their short, poppy compositions. The lyrics in the album are impeccable. With brilliant self-observation, in the song "What I Destroyed on My Summer Vacation", singer Adam Cook brashly proclaims: 'here lies a mouthy kid, raised by a picket fence to mean what he says when he screams'. And as the lyrics progress from self-actualization to political and social dissent, as do the vocals. Every song contains a two-singer vocal onslaught which contains the fury of a house set ablaze. They scream, rant, sing and chant their sound observation of Western culture as they know it. Also, throughout the songs there is a 5 man chorus line which delivers the apotheosis on a number of the songs built and then destroyed on the record.
The music picks up where the lyrics leave off. Granted, most of the music consists of power or bar chords played in sync with the running bass lines and double-kicking drums, but there is something oddly charming about the simplistic musicianship which appears on Shake Your Body Politic. Perhaps it's the songwriter's ability to compile four-chord progressions into a complicated structure, built with interesting time signatures and multiple, free-flowing tempo changes. Perhaps it's my love for the band as a whole and the musical coherence they can create. Either way, the musicality on this album is simplistic, but ingenius at the same time.
From the opening track "The Grand Preamble (Annie Get Your Gun, Mask, Ductape, and some Matches)" to the final anthem "Class Aptitude Tests Results Are In, and It's Martyr or Matador for Everybody!" Bombs Over Providence oozes brash intelligence on their debut/final full length: Shake Your Body Politic. Maybe the death of one of the greatest Canadian punk acts to come around in the last decade will cause others to rise from the ashes and bring the scene back ot its former glory. It's safe to say though, the this band, taken down before its peak, will be sorely missed. As for all you readers, you will be sore if you miss out on listening to a great half-hour of pure punk pop magic. So grab your headphones or speakers, pop in Bombs, and shake your body.
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