Two years after the release of Just Hip Enough To Be A Woman, Oklahoma indie four piece BRONCHO are back with their third studio album, Double Vanity. It sees them moving away from the upbeat, bouncy vibe of past releases to focus on the heavier, darker side of garage rock. It’s an album which drifts along, without too much complexity, urging you to find some sort of solace in its generally slow paced, grinding tracks.
There’s a heavy depth to the sound to Double Vanity. It’s filled with crushing, lulling bass lines and spacey reverb, making for a far more atmospheric album compared to previous releases. Vocal harmonies croon into the haze on second track, ‘Fantasy Boys’, while ‘Jenny Loves Jenae’ sees vocalist Ryan Lindsey’s words channelling their inner Velvet Underground. Latest single and album highlight ‘Señora Borealis’ has a slight groove and swagger in its step and, along with the track ‘Two Step’, marks the album’s most upbeat moment. Although there is a focus on the atmosphere and haze, the guitars ensure BRONCHO’s feet are kept firmly within the realms of indie, taking influence from the heavier side 90’s grunge.
Double Vanity is not without its faults, however. Whilst I’m never one to really complain about the use of a bit of reverb on the vocals (lyrics aren’t always important!), here they’re rendered into a sludgy mess. It’s also an album filled with similarly paced tracks. They might be short, but this lack in variance, in both tone and pace, can make it a bit of a drag to listen to at first.
Whilst Double Vanity sounds vast, and big, it’s hard to picture it really grabbing anyone. It’s technically great, yet doesn’t exactly hit you at first. Perhaps it’s the sort of album that needs time for its heavy fuzz to grow on you. I’ll let you know in about a weeks time.
Double Vanity is out now on Dine Alone.