“Ideologies” marks the first album that I’ve reviewed for Dying Scene that I’d genuinely consider a “punk” album in the traditional sense. If you aren’t familiar with them, The Bogarts are a four-piece from Thousand Oaks, CA. “Ideologies” marks their second release (following 2009’s “Better Than Before,”) and finds the band embarking on the “road out of Suckville and into Kindofokayland” (their words, not mine). Gotta love a young band with a sense of humor. Anyway, “Ideologies” was recorded in the bedroom of Zack from The Braces, and is composed of five tracks of hardcore-influenced skate-punk (or perhaps skate-punk influenced hardcore) that sounds like it came straight out of the early 1990s SoCal scene.
“Nothing To The World” kicks things off right in classic skate-punk style. Think Screw 32 or old Pennywise.
“The Runaway” follows with a fast-paced bass riff as an opener (not quite Matt Freeman, but in the same vein), and quickly the whole band catches up and puts the pedal to the floor. High energy song for the first 90-seconds, though the “pseudo-ska” breakdown features lyrics that were straight out of a high schooler’s journal (I can’t believe/ the shit you spew/ you were an asshole/ I forgive you) that sound a little cheap and low-brow compared to the rest of the album. The cool little metal-influenced guitar lick that follows makes up for it though.
“Sticks and Stones” is a little slower on the tempo front (though only a little), but features an interesting indie-rock style guitar riff (a la Jet) that shows the range of The Bogarts influences. Well-crafted song from start to finish.
“That’s Heavy, Doc” has an interesting tempo that is not entirely in the same formula as the rest of the album. Reminds me of something, but I can’t put my finger on what it is. Angst-ridden vocals that keep coming back to the line “at this point you’re better off dead.” Group chant-along bridge/outro is very reminiscent (in a good way) of Pennywise’s “Bro Hymn.”
Title track “Ideologies” is the most indie-rock influenced song on the album, and contains very poignant lyrics that sound exactly what you’d expect a young person to write when trying to come to terms with life outside their own little bubble and starting to pay attention to the world around them. Nick and Alex trade vocals throughout the album, and whomever took the verses on this track at times comes across like like a melding of Tim Armstrong’s slur and early Billie Joe Armstrong’s snarl.
A quick peruse of The Bogarts’ facebook page reveals that they are, in fact, youngsters. Don’t let that fool you, however: they have a very obvious grasp on the history of the modern punk scene, and it comes across in their sound. The album is not without its flaws, and in point-of-fact a 3.5 star review is probably accurate, but I’ve gotta give props to a young band that isn’t cheaping out and taking the bubblegum pop-punk or cookie-cutter screamo route.
**The Album Reviews published on Dying Scene are written and submitted by fans of punk music, just like you. If you disagree with an album’s rating, feel free to voice your opinion and give it your own rating in the comments. If you’d like to submit your own review do it here.