Bedbugs // Alone
Recommended Track(s): Orlando
Hailing from Thousand Oaks, California, Bedbugs are the perfect example of that band you thought was soo punk and then the hardcore punx snarled and turned their noses up at you because it wasn’t “real” punk. I remember being thirteen, when bands like Good Charlotte, Simple Plan and Newfound Glory were really popular—honestly, for good reason. We can look back on these bands with a slight laugh and poke fun at their seemingly immature musical nature but being at an immature age begs for this kind of music. It’s easy to listen to, it’s catchy and their messages typically tend to resonate with teenage sentiments.
Bedbugs describe themselves as garage rock/pop and this is clearly demonstrated on Alone. I found the EP to be extremely harmonious throughout its entirety and I really felt that the band remained true to their sound. Aside from a few minor technical glitches, this is a pretty solid recording for being made in someone’s garage.
Opener “Orlando” is a heartfelt letter that asks the ever so poignant question found in a lot of young relationships: what if you forget about me? Growing up sometimes means growing apart and this song captures the emotion of realizing that life will pull people in different directions, done in a super up-tempo, skate-punk manner. The subject of the song almost gets lost if you’re not paying attention to the lyrics. “Rotting” and “Bedbugs” have a very hoppy, Weezer-like rhythm, with lead vocalist Alex Johnson even matching River Cuomo’s singing style. Closing song, “Losers”, is the mellowest on the album but that isn’t to say that it’s slow by any means. The guitar and drums take turns bouncing between each other with cymbals serving as the intermediary between the two. It rounds out the EP and leaves the listener with a nicely concluded package.
Personally, my taste in music (and, let’s face it, my age) have kind of disqualified me from really embracing the Bedbugs but far be it from me to take anything away from the teenagers. I’m not entirely sure what the kids are listening to these days but 10 odd years ago, I was that kid listening to exactly this – melodramatic, punkish, pop-rock with corny anthem-like verses and a penchant for rule breaking. I think the Bedbugs have found their niche and it works for them. I look forward to their evolution as artists and musicians. We can’t be little shithead punks forever but damn it was memorable when we were.