podcast by Chance Solem-Pfeifer and Jacob Zlomke | words by Jacob Zlomke
Bogus, the debut EP by Lincoln quartet Bogusman, begins with a preliminary overview of the subsequent five tracks.
“Angler,” clocking in under two minutes as the shortest track on Bogus, gets underway with a high-pitched guitar siren, soon joined by the second guitar, bass and drums. The all play toward the same goal, as a churning, cacophonous, yet calculated, base over which guitarist Nathan Luginbill’s screaming vocals can float and fly.
In the subsequent tracks, there’s further reliance on the instrumental work. Between each chorus on “Hipster Douchebag,” there exists a brief instrumental motif where each instrument plays separate from the others with surprising harmony. The song ends on a 30-second, early-Black Sabbath inspired guitar solo over boiling guitar and bass that could have been lifted straight from Master of Reality. The closing track, “Hunger,” begins with a walloping bassline, soon echoed by guitars.
All of this to say Bogusman has a keen sense for when unison works, when all four should get behind the broken down car to push it uphill, and when it’s best for each to do their part. On the flat, two people push, one steers, one watches for traffic.
Despite instrumental sensitivity, Bogus might be at its best when the band gives way to their pop-minded aesthetic. “Hunger” finds bassist Andy Pederson echoing Luginbill’s casual vocals with more fervor and to an earworm rhythm. “Hipster Douchebag” is the EP’s catchiest track, with a simple chorus: “smug motherfucker, say what you mean / hipster douchebag, get out of my scene.”
The sentiment in “Hipster Douchebag” may be confounding: who really is the hipster here? But that doesn’t keep the track from being the most rollicking and memorable on Bogus.
With hard rock guitars, equal presence granted to all instruments, split vocal duties and a standard rock format, Bogusman fits into the same picture of Lincoln music as Powers and Dirty Talker. Together, these bands make a convincing argument for a prevailing and original sound emanating from the city: some kind of cross between a punk rock middle finger and a heavy metal love for their instruments.
Jacob Zlomke is Hear Nebraska’s staff writer. He hopes he’s not the hipster douchebag. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.