Spotlight | BODIES - BODIES LP

Review: mark a. brennan  photos: lindsey blane

Bodies' self-titled debut album is a celebration of the buoyant spirit of indie rock. The vibe is positive, with vocals that soar and guitars that jangle. There is a deferent and generous nod to the '80s and '90s in their sound, but it is wrapped up in a package  that is distinctly new millennium.

There may be '90s Britpop vocal stylings in "Thumb War Armistice" but the edge of the slightly distorted guitar provides a more Coldplay-like delivery. The clever guitar arrangements in "Back and Forth" give a fresh, contemporary feel to a song that could otherwise be found on a John Hughes movie soundtrack.

Although there is heavy emphasis on the singing component, there is always ample room given for instrumental exploration, especially with the guitar work of Tyler Paterson and Paul Shenton. Math rock seeps into "Jesus Saves" and "This Means Nothing", while the artful stop-and-start rhythm of "It Gets Better Before It Gets Worse" makes that song extra special.

The band completes the set fittingly with the dreamy "33". The song starts out in bedroom pop style, with an airy, almost sparse, arrangement. As the song builds the arrangement becomes more dense until it finally achieves a wall of sound structure that would make Steve Lillywhite proud.

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