Release Date: Jun 10, 2016
Record label: Dine Alone
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Garage Punk, Indie Rock
BRONCHO's 2014 breakout record, Just Enough Hip To Be Woman, was absolutely overflowing with savory hooks. From the salacious teenage thrust of 'NC-17' to the guitar-driven '80s pop of 'Class Historian,' the album had an earworm for any moment. (Seriously though, good luck getting 'Class Historian' out of your head if you choose to give it a listen.) With Double Vanity, the third LP from this foursome out of Norman, Okla., things have been slowed down, allowing for less immediate pop appeal but a satisfying and surprisingly atmospheric garage rock record.
Double Vanity is a weary, dark scuzzy garage rock record, with heavily reverb-laden vocals. Coming from Broncho, who wrote one of the most anthemic indie rock singles of 2014 in 'Class Historian', it's a bit jarring. Gone is the sweet accessibility and here is a complex, dark album with sophisticated nuances. Despite the initial disappointment that they've not come out with another hit single set for a month's heavy rotation on 6Music, the record is a positive artistic step forward in many ways.
BRONCHO's third album, Double Vanity is a major course correction after the disappointment of Just Enough Hip to Be Woman. That album tried to split the difference between their first album's spunky punk bounce and murky, midtempo ballads. It ended up being a confusing mess that was only partially redeemed by the dork pop classic "Class Historian." That's not the case here since they've basically jettisoned any ideas of playing fast, done away with spunk entirely, and settled deeply into a cough-syrupy midtempo groove.
In his seminal and glib 1953 essay, “The Hedgehog and the Fox”, Isaiah Berlin divided the world of philosophers and artists into two categories: hedgehogs and foxes. Building upon the aphorism often attributed to ancient Greek poet Archilochus, “the fox knows many things, but a hedgehog one important thing,” Berlin bifurcated thinkers between those with a dominant organizing ideology — hedgehogs — and those with a complex, multivalent worldview, foxes. On their third LP, Double Vanity, Norman, Oklahoma four-piece, BRONCHO explores the world of the hedgehog, chasing one big idea — chunky, fuzzy garage rock — to its logical end.
Billy Idol gets it. When the ’80s-era MTV icon tapped Broncho to support him on tour in 2015, he must’ve known the Oklahoma band would get a fist pump or two from his audience. The group had recently released its excellent sophomore album, Just Hip Enough To Be Woman, and songs like “Class Historian” and “Stay Loose” were weirdly 1982 in their mix of classic rock, punk, and new wave—topped off with the nerdy Ric Ocasek croon of singer Ryan Lindsey.
Nothing: The Incredible Sulk. Emma Johnston on new releases from Nothing, The Joy Formidable, Future Of The Left, Broncho and Mogwai Nothing: Tired Of Tomorrow There’s nothing quite like a good old-fashioned mope as we start heading into the warmer months, and right now, no one is getting their sulk on with quite so much style as Philadelphia’s Nothing, as they prove on their accomplished second album, Tired Of Tomorrow. This, in case you were wondering, is a compliment.