Bent Shapes - Feels Weird

A debut that’s as youthful as it is sophisticated.

For a band just now releasing their first full-length album, Bent Shapes are hardly new to the Boston music scene. With singles dating back to 2009 under original band name, Girlfriends, their angular post-punk-pop fusion has already been making its rounds for some time - so much so that ‘Feels Weird’, although their debut, is almost like a best-of of these previous releases. Yet, with the combination of newly recorded versions and a handful of new tracks, Andy Sadoway, Ben Potrykus, and Supriya Gunda have managed to maintain that sense of freshness, in turn creating a debut that’s as youthful as it is sophisticated.

It only takes a scan through the track titles to appreciate that ‘Feels Weird’ is an album that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Rather, there’s a sharp sense of humour that underlies the jaunty output. Opening with lead single ‘Behead Yrself, Pt 2’, lines like “I’m not saying you need some deep-seated hatred of self but it helps,” are testament to the sharp yet wry sense of humour within Bent Shapes’ songwriting. And with all band members taking over vocal duty for at least one song each, it’s almost like they’re battling it out to show off this smart wit, adding even more to the sense of playfulness.

The same can be said for some of the older songs that make an appearance. ‘Bites And Scratches’ in particular - from Girlfriends’ 2010 release - has been taken up a notch, intact with altered lyrics and a shiny new jangly guitar line, while ‘Big Machines’ has been given a cleaner cut to its sprawl. Elsewhere, the likes of ‘Leave It Til You Need It’ and ‘Boys To Men’ maintain the catchy, melodic numbers, while ‘Brat Poison’ and ‘What Do You Get??’ inject a welcome post-punk element to save it all from becoming a bit too twee-indie-pop.

But despite bringing a textured mix of subgenres into play, ‘Feels Weird’ is not a lengthy album, with tracks barely stretching past two minutes for the most part. Like a quick shot of adrenaline, the brevity of each song combines precise arrangements with sharp lyrics that get their point across and then get out. And it’s on these terms that ‘Feels Weird’ excels: it doesn’t overthink, it has fun.

Tags: Bent Shapes, Reviews, Album Reviews

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