Broncho - Bad Behavior - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Broncho - Bad Behavior

by Bill Golembeski Rating:8 Release Date:2018-10-12
Broncho - Bad Behavior
Broncho - Bad Behavior

This record is well-constructed classic American pop rock music. And it burns swagger.

Interestingly enough, Broncho hails from Norman, Oklahoma, which is a mere 371. 8 miles from Lebanon, Kansas, the geographic center city of America’s contiguous lower forty-eight states. Sure, that’s a bit of a driving distance (especially with an eight-week-old English setter puppy named Willamena in the car), but in the time frame of great rock music, it’s just another Aaron Rodgers Green Bay Packers’ Hail Mary pass. Now, because symbolism is everything to an old literature teacher, it’s an easy toss (to keep the football metaphor alive!) to say this music, while not a direct bullseye into the heart of America, is a pretty darn close dart strike into the double twenty zone. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, The Cars, The Strokes, Cheap Trick, and less favs such as Crabby Appleton, Game Theory, The Good Rats, or The Durocs: they are all pop players in the geography of the board.

The first song is Nathan Price percussion-heavy “All Choked Up.” Penny Pitchlynn’s bass has “Kashmir” density, Ryan Lindsey’s vocals are sinewy and tough, while the guitar of Ben King weaves a rollercoaster ride that’s just slippin’ and slidin’ like the best of rock music.

A request: more of that slippin’ and slidin’ guitar, please!

“Weekend” powers more pop with even more urgent swagger. And vocalist Ryan Lindsey has quite the rock ‘n’ roll elevator ride into the upper apartments of his rock vocal range.

This record takes several plays and a volume twist or two, but the songs are, as stated, well crafted. “Boys Got to Go” slows a bit and punctuates the pop. Keyboards enter the production. The tune lingers on the brink of some sort of rock ‘n’ roll explanation of the universe. But then “Keep It in Line” is pop music sublime and is the same galaxy as say, “Jessie’s Girl,” with a much deeper Beach Boys bounce into the width of its trampoline. “Sandman” is guitar driven rock music. Again, the vocals creep and prowl the depths of the song.

There’s more. “Undercover” punches the buttons like a pinball machine lighting up points that illuminate of images cars and women. The Rolling Stones come to mind. “Family Values,” perhaps, is tongue in cheek irony, while “Big City Boys” is almost Beach Boys (mentioned for the second time!) perfect in its harmonies. And then “Get in My Car” is pop perfection. Buddy Holly, Ricky Nelson, and all the Fifties’ melodic pulse rate stuff is here. And, of course, Memphis’ Big Star has an echo, too.

Now, a gripe: The album is just twenty-eight minutes, plus some change. I am one of those old album guys who want about forty minutes of music. And I know, (to quote The Beatles, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah), The Ramones’ first album clocks in under thirty minutes; Creedence’s Green River doesn’t even make that Mississippi mark of the twain; and times, attention spans, and digital downloads have changed. But I’d love to hear a longer play from the band. And that’s a compliment.   

The record ends with the very Stones-like “Start Me Up” guitar bit. But then the band, just like the equally wonderful Pretty Things, parachutes into its own climes, wind currents, and lovely chord progressions that grace the run-off groove with (just enough) satisfaction.

Now, as stated, this record is several hours from the dartboard center of continental America. So, love that place. Throw darts. Travel the distance to that place. Drink a beer in that place. Eat a cheeseburger. Listen to the music of that place. And then enjoy this record as it sells its wares like the great Tom Robbins’ Roadside Attraction, just as any other really decent bit of Americana rock ‘n’ roll will always double clutch a ticket on an Iggy funhouse roller-coaster freeway ride for a few hours into the very heart of America.



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