Growing up Bolth 

Hardcore release far from ‘Short-Sighted’

If you have ever been to the Underground or the Melody Inn, chances are you’ve either seen Bolth play or seen about 10 kids wearing Bolth shirts. Indianapolis is finally getting the music scene that it deserves, and Bolth is leading the charge.

In 2004, the band released their first album, Ten Shakes of a Lamb’s Tail. While Ten Shakes was good, it was limited to sounding like a high school punk album. Three years later, Bolth has grown up.

From the opening notes of their new album, Short-Sighted, it is apparent how much Bolth has changed. They’re the same old Bolth, only more focused, and much better. One thing that really sticks out about Short-Sighted is its lyrics. What were once silly songs about house parties and a hatred of the Monon Trail have turned into furious political anthems. “We basically wanted to make a stronger point with our second album,” says lead singer/guitarist J.S. “When the band started, we were trying to contradict the fashion-core hype, and we didn’t take much seriously beyond that. After playing shows for a while, we began incorporating the influence of hardcore punk that we’d been exposed to over the years. The lyrics became more confrontational, simply because issues became more important to me, especially when jingoism was peaking during the war.”

The title-track off the album demonstrates this best: “Sleep easy and don’t ask why. / After all, it’s your God-given right to be short-sighted.” The music itself is much better this time around as well. Imagine NOFX and Chocking Victim blended with Bad Religion.

It’s heavy hardcore, but it’s still catchy, without being cheesy, and there’s a sprinkling of ska. Those not accustomed to hardcore might have a problem getting used to the heavy music and rough vocals, but as J.S. sings (or rather screams) on “American Idoless”: “If you believe that there’s a right way to sing, you missed the point.”

So if you’re a punk fan or you are simply interested in the future of Indianapolis music, you owe it to yourself to give Short-Sighted a listen and try to catch these boys live. Check them out at www.myspace.com/bolth.

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