Guitarist Ben King never removed his sunglasses during BRONCHO‘s set at pitch-dark Baby’s All Right last Friday, which is maybe only the 11th coolest thing about the Oklahoma-based garage rockers. Their live show is warehouse rowdy, which brings us to #10. Without much fanfare they’ve written one of the most undeniably catchy records of the year (#9), an early Strokes blueprint sketched by New Wave tendencies. On single “Class Historian,” a staccato chorus of “do-do-do” chips away at frontman Ryan Lindsey’s so-over-it delivery (#8), his voice falling between a poor man’s Julian Casablancas and Ric Ocasek’s drowsy alter ego (#7-#5). He’s got the bed-head-normcore look down (#4). He chews gum like he’s 15 and it’s the 1950s (#3). And if you try to bum him out, it’s on, according to the grunge-guitar collapse wistful enough to close last season’s premiere of Girls (#2-#1).
While the hooks on sophomore album Just Enough Hip to Be Woman are an immediate entry point, its 30-some minutes cross deceivingly vast territory, taking the sneery punk of their debut and moving it across moody psych dirges, 70s glam and movie montage-ready rallying calls. The band’s easygoing coolness, challenging anything that could bum them out while also making them sound like they’re already three-fourths of the way there, is its constant thread. The so-called millennial dilemma of wanting nothing to do, and dealing with the depression of doing nothing, now has a proper soundtrack.
While routing through New York earlier this month, Lindsey stopped by our office to play a few stripped-down tracks and chat about translating the new album live. A video camera happen to be there. If you don’t have “Class Historian” stuck in your head for at least 30 minutes after watching, we owe you $100.
Follow Lauren Beck on Twitter @heylaurenbeck.