Release Date: Mar 11, 2016
Record label: Slumberland
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock
With a newly retooled lineup and some remarkably sharp songwriting, Boston's Bent Shapes serve up their best effort yet with Wolves of Want. After cutting their teeth under the name Girlfriends, singer/guitarist Ben Potrykus and drummer Andy Sadoway relaunched the project as Bent Shapes in 2012, issuing their debut, Feels Weird, the following year. Their jagged indie pop and post-punk blend showed plenty of promise, but there was still a feeling of a band that was trying to find its footing.
It's got plenty of competition, but the most perceptively funny song Jonathan Richman of the last 10 years or so might be a gem called "My Affected Accent." Basically, it's Richman looking back at himself in high school, four decades on, and fessing to how insufferably pretentious he was. "I used big words, I talked through my hat," he sings. "I said 'the aforementioned' when I should have said 'that.'" He marvels that he wasn't bullied more than he was.It's quite likely that another good-humored Boston songwriter, Ben Potrykus of the punky indie-pop quartet Bent Shapes, will look back at his youth and share Richman's regrets.
Boston’s Bent Shapes were all furious energy on their last album, Feels Weird. It was a pop record with a punk ethos. Now, returning with Wolves of Want, the band has sanded down some of the harder edges and brightened the dark ruts of that record into a set of often shimmering tunes. The album smartly ups the pop sensibilities without losing any of the band’s inherent zeal.
The Bent Shapes, out of Boston, make jangly, jittery, overeducated pop punk about 20-something anomie. Their second full-length takes its name from a line in “To Tramps” a 19th century tract by anarchist leader Lucy Parsons, which is dedicated to “the unemployed, the disinherited and miserable.” And, indeed, these ten songs comprise an illustrated guide to early-career failure – the move back home (“New Starts in Old Dominions”), the unusable advanced degrees (“Realization Hits”) and the fruitless search for meaning (“86’d in 03”). And yet, they do so with such bravado, such fizzy fuzzed-out style and black humor, that the sting is taken away.