My week with Bubblegum and Bulldozer / by Rollie Agado

With roughly 2 months still left in the calendar year… I can’t believe how rewarding 2013 has been in respect to music.  

Woke up last Tuesday and immediately checked Spotify to see if Kevin Devine’s two new efforts were available to stream.

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Albums that were funded through Kickstarter… its great to see that Kevin has created a groundswell of support to let him artistically express himself over 2 full lengths.

But I digress…  both albums were online so I decided to listen to Bubblegum based solely on the cover sleeve art.

"Bubblegum" was what I had thought it would be…  a noisier effort than "Bulldozer" with a number of poignant topics within the first three tracks.

Private First Class - addresses Private First Class Manning and his conviction for violating the Espionage Act.  Kevin smartly (in my opinion) points out that it would be easier to be born both a liar and coward than do what he did…

Fiscal Cliff - is another interesting track and it happened to come on the heels the US Government (Congress) having their head stuck up their ass.

"If you’re angry, well, I’m angry, too
And I talk to myself like I know you do
And I’ve been hiding in my laptop, too
But in my mirror, I see you
In my mirror, I see a movement” - Kevin Devine

The album has a number of stand out tracks on the second half of the album - Bloodhound, Bubblegum and She Can See Me are all going to be tracks that I’m going to look forward to hearing live in a few weeks.

His other effort “Bulldozer” is my favorite of the two… and this surprised me a little bit because I usually gravitate to more of Kevin’s noisier numbers.  I don’t want to imply that Bulldozer is softer or more “acoustic” than Bubblegum.  It’s a little more Use Your Illusion II than Use Your Illusion I I guess.

Actually that’s a shitty analogy… but I’m leaving it up because it just felt right as I do this write up.

Where was I?  Oh yea, I think the reason I like Bulldozer a little more is because the album seems to sonically know its boundaries a little better than Bubblegum.  It breathes a little better in some respects… the track Little Bulldozer I think is a good example of that.

I don’t exactly know who (or what… his car?) his little bulldozer is but it’s the kinda track you want to put on a mix for that special someone in your life.

Kevin’s finest moment comes in the track - Couldn’t Be Happier.  A tender track that I look forward most to listening to live.  

Bulldozer also has a number of deep cuts - such as Matter of Time, For Eugene (sounds like a Cat Stevens tune) and the floor tappy -  She Can See Me - that in my opinion make this album to elevate a little more than Bubblegum.

I can’t really say enough about these records…  both of these albums will likely soundtrack my upcoming trip to Memphis.