Review by: Mister Substitute
Righteous pessimism. Read that again. Cynicism that is just, scrupulous criticism on something long overdue for a calling out. Everyone, I present to you Bumsy and the Moochers’ “Diet Violence”
Hailing from Chicago, Bumsy and the Moochers are grade A, certified ska-punk: upstrokes and horns meets face-melting guitar shredding and, again, those potent, eloquent, pessimism-mixed-with-nostalgic lyrics. Their songs are catchy, danceable, and at the same time thought-provoking and spot-on.
“Diet Violence” does this awesome thing that I’ve noticed where each song almost flows into each other stylistically and almost introduces the next style in the middle of songs. For example, the opening track, “Jump the Gun” leans heavily on the punk influences, almost jumping into skacore territory, but then has this almost old-timey horn breakdown that ties well into the introduction of the classic punk-style upstroke in “The Rat.” And then “Not Gonna Have It” jumps out of the punk jacuzzi and cannonballs into the ska pool.
Their lyrics are worthy of a much further breakdown than I’m able to do in one article. “Nightmare” is almost comparable to the boy in the Emperor’s New Clothes fable, calling everyone out that we aren’t living the dream, we’re “just living the nightmare!” After that, “Rewind 99,” as the title suggests, brings back that OG nostalgia–for us born after 1995, of course.
I’ve sworn off comparing bands to other bands (sorry Fernway, y’all are so much better than Simple Plan) and I won’t with Bumsy and the Moochers. Musically, they are ska-punk through-and-through: every song has elements of both. But for me, what sets Bumsy and the Moochers apart from the rest are their unapologetic lyrics coupled with the talented voice of Front-person Caitlin Edwards. In a world that feels like the “This is Fine” meme, Bumsy jumps in and says “Wake the hell up! This shit isn’t right!” For that, I greatly admire and respect them.
I do have to add that this album is not all doom-and-gloom. The ending track, “Won’t Give Up on Love” is hopeful, uplifting, but still holds that clinched fist in your face as if they’re saying “You want it? Come and take it, if you can.” The majority of the album is, again, angry–and rightfully so; but to end with a track like “Won’t Give Up on Love” left me with that “the world sucks, but at least we have each other” sort of vibe.
“Diet Violence” comes out September 8th, brought to us by Ska Punk International and Sell the Heart Records. It will be available on CD and on tape. Folks, trust me: this is a cover-to-cover album, you’ll want to get this in physical media. Check out Bumsy and the Moochers’ Bandcamp and follow them on Instagram and Twitter so you’re up-to-date on what they’re putting out.