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article by: Michael Canter

20 September 2011

CD Review - Can't Get Past The Lips by Broncho

“The night started with a group called BRONCHO from Tulsa that played raw, aggressive, and wonderfully effective old-school punk. I had come to the Oklahoma Showcase at yet another cheesy Sixth Street bar called Friends to see the next act, but this faster-louder no-B.S. quartet was a pleasant surprise, with the sort of take-no-prisoners delivery that this critic wishes the much more-hyped Smith Westerns unleashed.”
–Jim DeRogatis, Pop N Stuff WBEZ 91.5 FM, 3/17/2011

Release Date: 30 August 2011

Genre: Alternative Rock / Post Punk / Garage

Publisher: (C) 2011 Ryan Lindsey Masters

Label: Ryan Lindsey Masters

Time: 20m 43s

Review Date: 20-September-2011

Format: CD

JivePK™: Not currently a Jivewired member

Click image to purchase from Bandcamp.com

Track Listing:

01. Pick A Fight 2:18
02. Insert Coin 2:08
03. Try Me Out Sometime 2:38
04. I Don't Really Want To Be Social 2:14
05. Record Store 2:20
06. Get Off My Reservations 1:14
07. Losers 2:10
08. Psychiatrist 2:05
09. Blown Fuse 1:47
10. Can't Get Past The Lips 1:48


BRONCHO are one of alternative rock's big new hopes and they quickly live up to that hype with their debut album "Can't Get Past The Lips", an energized collection of garage and alternative rock anthems that bode well for a promising future. The album deserves classic debut status and is a strong and hugely likeable release that’s worthy of the hype now surrounding them. "Can't Get Past The Lips" is not a bulky record by any means, but it is certainly not a token gesture either. In fact, Broncho's debut demonstrates a strong songwriting acumen and stubbornly heightened emotions that feed their collective energies.

Comparisons abound with BRONCHO, who at times conjure memories of early Replacements, Kinks, Iggy & The Stooges, Ramones and pre-1964 Rolling Stones. For good measure, the songs "Record Store", "Losers" and "Pick A Fight" offer a nod to those endearing early 1960s proto-punk bands like The Knickerbockers, The Remains and The Troggs. At their best, Broncho uses that DIY retro and garage simplicity as its “wow” factor, effectively creating a derivative of their sound that is as unexpected as it is hazily familiar. By toggling between a pure punk and a throwback garage sound, BRONCHO manages to remain both fresh and aggressively relevant.

For the most part, the offerings here rest on a central theme; a playful chorus surrounded by towering and purposely distorted guitar riffs and a powerhouse set of vocals from leader and band founder Ryan Lindsey. The band offers no statements, no drama and no drippy, elaborate and unnecessary over-production -- just pure, unbridled rock 'n roll in it's purest sense. In a case of quality over quantity, BRONCHO packs an awful lot of swag into a very slight, just-under-21-minutes set of ten frenzied punk and garage rockers. Is there room for improvement? Of course there is. Very few bands peak with their first release, and Broncho is no exception, though the band has set the bar quite high.

The fact that the band offers nothing that could be considered truly groundbreaking or distinctly original doesn't matter. That wasn't their intent. But, the arrangements are so excellent (in terms of feeling immediately familiar without alienating through been-there-done-that repetition), that BRONCHO at least feels astonishingly fresh. All things considered, one couldn't ask for a better launching pad than "Can't Get Past The Lips" and as for the band, it would seem, great success has a firm foothold on their immediate future. Think of it as a solid foundation to build something more unique from and you've discovered a triumphant debut; or, better still, don’t think at all and let it sonically indulge your musical taste-buds in a single sitting.

About Broncho:

Broncho - Try Me Out Sometime from Delo Creative on Vimeo.

Harkening back to punk rock’s glory days of the 70s, Oklahoma outfit BRONCHO captures the aggression, DIY authenticity and youthful exhilaration of a bygone era and then drags it by the hair into the Here and Now, creating a fresh sound that’s unlike anything being played today. With echoes of The Replacements, Iggy and the Stooges and The Ramones, Broncho’s exuberant ten song debut Can’t Get Past the Lips is a blisteringly 20 minute flash of gritty, crunching guitar work supported by an assaultive rhythm section and made whole by songwriter Ryan Lindsey’s aggressive, yelping vocal work.

Lindsey’s vocals and guitar are supported by Johnathon Ford (bass), Ben King (guitar) and Nathan Price (drums). The project began as an off-the-cuff recording session for Lindsey (who also plays keys for Starlight Mints, in addition to performing as a solo artist). He quickly laid down early versions “Pick a Fight” and “Losers” with the assistance of King (Cheyenne) and Price (Native Lights), and then sent them to Ford (Unwed Sailor), asking for feedback. Ford loved the songs so much that he suggested they begin playing shows as a band.

That first show, a manic, ultra-lean showcase of six songs that clocked in at less than 15 minutes, occurred in February of this year, and was followed by a flurry of live performances in Tulsa and Norman throughout the spring and summer. By the end of July, Broncho had opened for Aqueduct at the inaugural FreeTulsa Music Festival and already recorded the majority of their album at Tulsa’s historic Church Studio (once home to Leon Russell’s Shelter Records).

The collective talent and cumulative experience of all involved with Broncho has resulted in an album that, for all its dirty-dishwater punk roots, is a masterwork of pop simplicity.

1 comment:

Mike from Jivewired.com® said...

Editor's Note: I also saw Broncho's show at Friends on Sixth Street at SXSW on 3/16/2011 as a guest of Larry White. The performance was remarkable, and the quote I used by Jim DeRogatis to start this essay was spot on. The entire Oklahoma City Showcase was worth the entire trip down to Austin, TX.