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Interview: Ryan Lindsey of BRONCHO

 
By on Tuesday, 6th September 2016 at 11:00 am
 

BRONCHO is a real party animal. He can’t be stopped sometimes. Sometimes it’s too hard to get his attention. Sometimes it’s too easy. Sometimes I’m not sure what he’s talking about, and sometimes you’re not either, right?” Thus begins our strange q&a with the Oklahoman band’s frontman Ryan Lindsey. “BRONCHO also seems to care about the people. He seems to be a real people person. A man of integrity. A promise keeper. A secret keeper. He always keeps secrets. Tell him one, and find out for yourself.” Enigmatic, yet enlightening. You see what sort of frustrating entity we’re dealing with here. Is BRONCHO friend or foe? Ally or enemy? Keep reading and find out.

As mentioned in my album review of their newest work ‘Double Vanity’, BRONCHO was born from a film project, when Lindsey was asked to compose music to an ‘80’s inspired punk film. The concept of visualisation has remained a constant for Lindsey, no matter what he’s up to: “I write in all the same ways. I think visually a lot when I write. Whether it’s for a project, or if the project is BRONCHO. I like to write songs with a visual in mind. Sometimes that visual turns into a video idea or ultimately a video.”

“I wanted the record to be a discovery process [for the listener]”, says Lindsey about ‘Double Vanity’. “I know it might take a minute for some people, but I like that. Some of my favourite records are records that I didn’t get the first time”. When asked about the reason for this and if there was a change in direction when writing the album he simply replied, “these songs made the most sense when they were slow. Keeping the songs slow left a lot of open space, so we added a lot of reverb to take up some space. That felt the most natural to me. Reverb is very dreamy, and I do love dreams”. You just imagine Ryan Lindsey smiling like a Cheshire cat saying those words. He is proving almost as enigmatic as BRONCHO.

Thankfully, the band was open-minded towards the recording and production of their new material, which appears to have reined in any fanciful notions on Lindsey’s part. “The way we recorded ‘Double Vanity’ was different than the previous two records. And those two were different from each other. I have a big imagination, so that finds its way into the process too.” Over the years, the band have undergone a few line-up changes, first losing original bassist Jonathon Ford, which led to the addition of Penny Pitchlynn (bass) and Mandii Larson (guitar). When asked how if at all has the changing line-up affected the music, Lindsey replies that this hasn’t fazed him one bit. “It hasn’t really affected the music. Just makes the hang on the road a lot more fun”. Make of that what you will.

If you’re a fan of BRONCHO, you know that they have quite an eclectic discography. Despite only being active since 2012, they have already released three studio albums each more diverse and forward thinking than the last. Album number two ‘Just Enough Hip to be Woman’ is their most commercially successful. Their songs ‘It’s On’ and ‘Class Historian’ were used in the soundtracks of HBO series, advertisements and Hollywood films, propelling the band to the mainstream. “I want everything I work on to be successful”, Lindsey says with bold, unfettered ambition. “I think that last record [‘Just Enough Hip To Be Woman’] made more sense to a larger audience. It wasn’t the plan or goal for that to happen. Our goal is always to be happy with what we do”. As if to prove there’s more to him than being seriously, Lindsey adds light-heartedly, “Or if we’re not happy about it, to at least get a few drinks in. Best case scenario, we are happy and get a few drinks in”.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HGH86N4u398[/youtube]

Perhaps the Oklahoman five-piece will do just that when they come to the UK at the end of September. As the days draw closer, Lindsey can’t help but express his excitement: “I can’t wait to get to the UK! We love playing the UK, I think I’m supposed to live in the UK. I’ve always felt that”. Given they are currently finishing an extensive European tour, they may not be top of their game, but Lindsey is confident they won’t be flagging. “We won’t be too tired. Or maybe we will, but we won’t let that get in the way!”

Bring it on, BRONCHO. Be sure to get your tickets for one (or more) of the many dates on their UK tour starting later this month; you can find all the dates here. BRONCHO’s third and most recent studio album ‘Double Vanity’ is available now on Dine Alone Records. For more on BRONCHO on TGTF, go here.

Editor of TGTF Mary Chang contributed to this feature.

 

Video of the Moment #2153: BRONCHO

 
By on Wednesday, 3rd August 2016 at 6:00 pm
 

Oklahoman band BRONCHO released their third album out earlier this summer. ‘Double Vanity’, out now on Dine Alone Records, was reviewed by our Adam back then, and you can read his thoughts on the long player back here. In his review, Adam noted “[t]he rhythm-orientated vocal hook” of album standout ‘Speed Demon’. The scuzzy sound of the tune is reflected in the visuals of the accompanying promo video for ‘Speed Demon’, which you can watch below.

BRONCHO have previously announced a return to the UK for a series of live dates in September and October. Stay tuned for an interview with frontman and band leader Ryan Lindsay here on TGTF in a few weeks’ time. In the meantime, for more of TGTF’s coverage on the group, follow this link.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pV8YKUk_woI[/youtube]

 

Album Review: BRONCHO – Double Vanity

 
By on Monday, 20th June 2016 at 12:00 pm
 

Words by Adam McCourt

Broncho Double Vanity album coverSince the birth of BRONCHO in 2010, the group have made incredible strides with every album in developing a sound so unique and avant-garde, leading to their strongest release yet in the form of new LP ‘Double Vanity’. The band initially started as a solo film project of front man Ryan Lindsey, when he was asked to write music to an early ’80s inspired punk film. He ended up inundated with ideas, and with help from bandmates Ben King, Nathan Price and Penny Pitchlynn turned it into something more. This eventually led to BRONCHO’s debut LP ‘Can’t Get Past the Lips’ in 2011. Made up of 10 short songs extremely reminiscent of the late ’70s/early ’80s UK punk scene, complete with spoken word and shouting vocals, fast and simple chord progressions, and song titles like ‘I Don’t Want To Be Social’, ‘Record Store’ and ‘Losers’.

Moving into their second album ‘Just Enough Hip To Be Woman’, BRONCHO began experimenting with hooks and melodies, which sat perfectly over their pre-established fast-paced, fuzzy guitar-driven punk rock. The album saw great success: single ‘Class Historian’ spent over a month on the playlist at BBC 6 Music, following many accolades from the likes of NME, who labelled the album “fresh and invigorating” and Consequence of Sound, who said it was “unequivocally strong”.

Which brings us to their third and most recent album, ‘Double Vanity’. The Oklahoman quartet have experimented further with melody and have even added harmonies to give more emotion. They’ve also simultaneously pushed the boundaries of punk, garage, emo and ambient music. Vocals soaked in reverb and guitars creating a haze of atmospheric garage rock, the music sluggishly moves along with what seems like no conviction, and little technical ability .The songs still hang around very average 1-4-5 and 2-5-1 chord progressions and the drums are so simple, it seems pointless having a drummer at all. Yet, the deeper into the album you get, the more you begin to notice the moments of beauty employed by Lindsey and co. in writing the album. The added textures that decorate the sound, the harmonies used in strengthening each melody, the song structures and intelligent use of ideas is what makes the music so beguiling.

Opening track ‘All Time’ wastes no time introducing the hypnotic feel of the album, as both guitars and bass fall into the first chord in unison. They continue to move as a unit throughout the whole song, sluggishly sliding from chord to chord rather than hitting them exactly on the beat. Accompanied by a ‘Little Drummer Boy’-like drum beat, it begins the album with a very slow burn. In their previous albums, such a start would have seemed out of place. However, given the experimental nature of ‘Double Vanity’, it makes sense that the album begins the way it does. Lindsey’s vocals progress in a way that takes the listener on a journey with an unknown destination, until of course we hit the chorus. Indicated by the shift to a minor tonality with an emotional melody that, mixed with Lindsey’s unique projection, relays a sense of pleading with an almost apologetic undertone.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CvLh3TZovnI[/youtube]

BRONCHO’s genius approach to songwriting is showcased throughout the whole album, as they take ideas introduced previously, specifically their second album, developing them further. Taken together, ‘Speed Demon’ and ‘Fantasy Boys’ is the result of dissecting previous single ‘Class Historian’ and employing the ideas within to two separate songs. The rhythm-orientated vocal hook in ‘Speed Demon’ applies to the lyric “sp-pa-pa-peed pa-pa-peed demon” while ‘Fantasy Boy’ carries the elastic, Beatles-like melody, covered in harmony, over a guitar riff reminiscent of the film Drive, with a more ’80s underground feel. Considering its similarities with previous single ‘Class Historian’, it comes as no surprise that BRONCHO also put ‘Fantasy Boys’ out as a single off the new album.

‘Señora Borealis’ is the definite standout off the album. It bursts in, cutting the album in half with a Kasabian-like quavering, chugging guitar riff and a basic syncopated drum groove, instantly bringing a whole new level of energy. The song marches on in this manner throughout, with very little development in harmony or feel. But texturally is where the song gathers momentum. With each return of the title in the lyrics, “Señora Borealis” brings a slight variation in breathy rhythms soaked in delay underlying in the mix, each time as satisfying as the last.

The album is a definite grower. I appreciated it upon first listen, but grew to love it more and more with each subsequent listen. It’s easy to get lost in the wall of sound created by the mass of fuzz, reverb vocals and simplistic drum patterns. However, when each element is taken in isolation, you truly realise how beautiful they are, and how well they work together. Speaking about the album, Lindsey says, ‘Double Vanity’ has more energy than previous albums. It is more of an emotional energy”, which I think sums up the album perfectly. Although the songs may seem to portray an obnoxious musical language on the surface, in the centre, it is a raw and delicate piece of art. The band took many risks in creating the album, demolishing the elements of previous albums that received them critical acclaim and obscuring them to an almost self-sabotaging degree. However, it’s safe to say that the risk undoubtedly paid off.

7.5/10

‘Double Vanity’, the third album from BRONCHO, is out now on Dine Alone Records. BRONCHO are set to go out on a European tour this autumn, starting at Amsterdam’s Indiestad Festival on the 21st of September, then followed by a recently announced UK tour (tour dates listed here). For more coverage on BRONCHO on TGTF, follow this link.

 

BRONCHO / September and October 2016 UK Tour

 
By on Monday, 13th June 2016 at 9:00 am
 

Oklahoman band BRONCHO are gearing up to release their third album at the end of this week. ‘Double Vanity’, the garage punk rockers’ follow-up to 2014’s ‘Just Enough Hip to Be Woman’, will see the light of day on the 17th of June on Dine Alone Records. The Americans will be heading across the pond for a string of live dates this autumn. The gigs listed below are all on sale now. For more of TGTF’s coverage on BRONCHO, including Carrie’s Bands to Watch on them ahead of SXSW 2015, follow this link.

Wednesday 28th September 2016 – Brighton Prince Albert
Thursday 29th September 2016 – Bristol Louisiana
Friday 30th September 2016 – Birmingham Sunflower Lounge
Saturday 1st October 2016 – Manchester Soup Kitchen
Monday 3rd October 2016 – Glasgow Broadcast
Tuesday 4th October 2016 – Liverpool Magnet
Wednesday 5th October 2016 – Leeds Brudenell Games Room
Thursday 6th October 2016 – London Lexington

 

SXSW 2015: Dine Alone Records and Music from Ireland showcases – 18th March 2015

 
By on Thursday, 2nd April 2015 at 10:00 am
 

Wednesday night I made my way down to the Bungalow on Rainey Street for the Dine Alone Records 10th anniversary showcase, which was scheduled to feature two bands I’d previously covered for TGTF, The Dodos and Broncho, as well as Lieutenant, the new side project of Foo Fighters bassist Nate Mendel. I arrived at the Bungalow early enough to work out the logistics of my interview with The Dodos before heading out to the backyard stage area to catch the night’s opening act, Josh Haden’s jazz-tinged alt-rock band Spain.

I wasn’t familiar with Josh Haden or Spain before I saw them at the Bungalow, but a quick internet search reveals that their smooth, soulful sound is at least partially the result of Haden’s background in jazz; he is the son of well-known jazz bassist Charlie Haden. Josh Haden originally formed Spain in the early 1990s and revitalized it with new members in 2007. The band’s latest LP, ‘Sargent Place’ was released on Dine Alone back in November, and their set at the Dine Alone showcase included a fine performance of its lead single ‘The Fighter’, which you can stream below.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/pPwjSmCq608[/youtube]

Vancouver indie pop band Yukon Blonde quickly changed the pace of the evening after Spain’s laid-back set. Their dance-friendly synth and guitar sounds drew a captivated audience under the tents at the Bungalow, almost making us forget that we were still in the middle of the week with their hook-heavy new single ‘Saturday Night’. Just after SXSW, Yukon Blonde hit the road in America and Canada for an opening slot with their Dine Alone labelmates Lieutenant; those shows continue into April.

Yukon Blonde’s energetic set paved the way for San Francisco-based duo The Dodos to take the stage. They clearly had a fair few fans in attendance at SXSW 2015, as the crowd packed in noticeably tighter during their brief soundcheck. After reviewing their latest LP ‘Individ’ and their show at Tucson’s Club Congress in February, I had already come to the conclusion that The Dodos are just one of those bands that you have to see live to get the full effect of their music.

I discussed that opinion briefly with band members Meric Long and Logan Kroeber in my interview with them before their set, but their spectacular performance on the night did more to solidify my estimation than any of their commentary. Knowing that The Dodos create a huge sound between the two of them, I started their set with earplugs firmly in place, but the sound quality and the crisp energy of their performance was so amazing that I ended up removing them just so that I could take it all in. The dance moves featured in The Dodos’ video for ‘Competition’ didn’t make it onto the stage here, but there was plenty of enthusiastic dancing in the crowd when Long and Kroeber played the song.

The Dodos at Dine Alone showcase SXSW 2015

Unfortunately, the crowd at the Bungalow thinned conspicuously after The Dodos finished, leaving only a sparse few fans to watch Lieutenant. Because the live iteration of Lieutenant features Foo Fighters bass player Nate Mendel and Snow Patrol bass player Paul Wilson (both on guitar, ironically enough), I had expected them to draw a larger audience. Lieutenant’s recent album release ‘If I Kill This Thing We’re All Going to Eat for a Week’ is probably best described as understated, and as it turns out, Mendel is an understated frontman in live performance as well. Wilson’s more animated guitar solos, while not exactly flashy, were the highlight of the band’s set at the Bungalow. I suspect that the members of Lieutenant will grow progressively more comfortable in their newly adopted roles as they continue their current American tour with Yukon Blonde.

Nate Mendel at Dine Alone showcase SXSW 2015           Paul Wilson at Dine Alone showcase SXSW 2015

My energy lagged a bit after Lieutenant’s set, and I decided a walk might be in order to help me get a second wind. I left the Bungalow and headed back to 6th Street to see Dine Alone alumnus James Vincent McMorrow, whose first self-titled EP was released in the US on Dine Alone back in 2010.  McMorrow was appearing on the Music from Ireland showcase at Maggie Mae’s Gibson Room, which was already packed to the gills for his set when I arrived. (In fact, it was so crowded that I never met up with Mary, who also made the Music From Ireland show part of her Wednesday night lineup.) Though the Gibson Room audience were clearly enamored with the soulful melancholia of McMorrow’s ‘Post Tropical’ tracks, I found his falsetto to be unintelligible and a bit whiny, much in the vein of Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, whose sound I have never been particularly fond of. In spite of that, McMorrow’s stage presence was shyly endearing and he did pique my interest by testing a couple of new tracks, which he said weren’t yet fully worked out, but which held their own here in acoustic performance.

Walking On Cars at Music From Ireland SXSW 2015

Once again, the audience almost completely vanished after McMorrow’s set, leaving Irish pop band Walking on Cars to play in a nearly empty room to close out the night. It was a pity too, because Walking on Cars play the kind of energetic pop music that could find itself comfortably situated on top 40 radio, given enough of an audience. Indeed, the band broke up their wee-hours-of-the-morning set with a mashup of pop tunes that included 50 Cent’s ‘In Da Club’, Ed Sheeran’s ‘Lego House’, and James Bay’s current hit ‘Hold Back the River’, along with a surprisingly effective cover of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Dreams’.

Their own recent single ‘Always Be With You’, featured in our SXSW preview of artists from Ireland and Northern Ireland, closed the night on a strong note, even if only a handful of punters were still around to hear it. Keep an eye on TGTF for coverage of Walking on Cars at the full Irish breakfast appearing on TGTF soon.

 

(SXSW 2015 flavoured!) Bands to Watch #345: Broncho

 
By on Friday, 6th March 2015 at 12:00 pm
 

Oklahoma-based garage punk band Broncho are set to take SXSW 2015 by storm later this month after spending February on tour with punk icon Billy Idol. Their current support slot for The Growlers‘ 5-day residency at Brooklyn’s Baby’s All Right runs through the first week of March, then the group will head to Austin before setting out on their own American West Coast headline dates.

Broncho’s current LP ‘Just Enough Hip To Be Woman’ was released in September 2014 on Dine Alone Records. Its opening track ‘What’ is characteristic of the album as a whole, heavy on chugging guitars and sullen vocals. Each of its 11 comprising tracks is concise and to the point; the album clocks in at just over 30 minutes total.

The current single from the album is called ‘NC-17’, referring to the movie rating that signifies adult content. While the accompanying video for the song doesn’t merit that rating (you can watch it below to see for yourself), its lo-fi home movie quality reflects Broncho’s garage band sound to a tee.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/T0f5k9SgefI [/youtube]

My early pick for Best Earworm of SXSW 2015 goes to ‘Class Historian’, whose trippy “do-do-do-do-do-do-do-do” refrain will likely take up residence in the ears and minds of Austin punters for months to come. Aside from that pervasive melody, the song’s tempo is driven by the persistent drum rhythm and the deep reverb of the guitar lines. Just below, watch a live performance video of ‘Class Historian’ recorded at Austin’s KUTX studios back in November.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/ISRqL3_e5ec[/youtube]

‘Just Enough Hip to Be Woman’ is slightly more refined than Broncho’s previous album, 2013’s ‘Can’t Get Past The Lips’. Their early brash punk style played out there in the album track ‘Try Me Out Sometime’, which has a grittier instrumental sound behind the anxious energy of its insistently repetitive lyrics.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/3R2Y429oizE[/youtube]

If you’re not yet convinced about Broncho, you can stream ‘Just Enough Hip To Be Woman’ in full on their Soundcloud. The band are scheduled to play several official showcases at SXSW 2015, including the Dine Alone Records tenth anniversary show on the 18th of March at the Bungalow.

 
 
 

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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