The art-damaged Brooklyn band Bodega want to get people thinking while they boogie, and their debut album from 2018, Endless Scroll, spotlights an abrasive dance-punk sound built on shouted vocals, deep thoughts, and jumpy rhythms.
Bodega formed when guitarist/vocalist Ben Hozie and vocalist Nikki Belfiglio’s previous group, Bodega Bay, downsized their name and changed the lineup. That band formed in 2013, released Our Brand Could Be Your Life, an album recorded on the internal mike in GarageBand, in 2015, then split the next year. When they relaunched as Bodega, Hozie and Belfiglio kept much of that group’s spiky post-punk energy and snarky anti-consumerist attitude and built a new lineup that featured guitarist Madison Velding-Vandam, bassist Heather Elle, and drummer Montana Simone. They began playing shows around the city and elsewhere, opening for Protomartyr and La Luz, among others.
With a batch of songs ready — some written mere weeks earlier as the Bodega Bay lineup was dissolving — Bodega headed off to record their debut album. With Austin Brown of Parquet Courts working the dials on the Tascam 388 tape machine his band used to record their classic Light Up Gold, the collection of shouty and melodic post-post-punk tunes came together, and Endless Scroll was released by What’s Yr Rupture? in July 2018. As the album hit record store shelves, Bodega toured the U.S. as headliners for the first time. They also played shows in the U.K., and the live album Witness Scroll was recorded at clubs in Glasgow and London. When the group headed back into the studio to record more songs, Simone had been replaced by Tai Lee. The band released the cleaned-up and more-focused Shiny New Model EP in late 2019.
After the EP was released, Hozie and Belfiglio launched themselves into a film career, making a mark as the filmmakers behind 2020’s PVT CHAT. However, the COVID-19 pandemic impeded them, allowing them to reconvene with the band to write and record a follow-up album. 2022’s Broken Equipment was heavily influenced by their philosophy-inspired book club and the general state of New York.