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.


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.