Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Broncho at The Culture Room: My Mind at CBGB's

culture room, ft. lauderdale
I've always loved the whole late 70s New York, CBGB vibe. And for me, that whole thing sort of extends to bands and sounds that aren't even part of that era or scene specifically, but it's what I think of when I hear even somewhat scuzzy rock n roll that is also kinda poppy. So I sometimes lump in stuff that's more new wave or whatever into the same grouping. And then again, the thing about the CBGB bands of that era is that there really was no "sound" to it. They were all very different. Talking Heads sound nothing like Blondie who sound nothing like Television or the Ramones. And Lou Reed and Iggy Pop weren't even part of that. Yet, last night, I saw Broncho play at The Culture Room in Ft. Lauderdale and those are some of the things and bands I thought about.

culture room, ft. lauderdale
It's cool to be bummed.
But before Broncho came out, local band Heavy Drag from Miami opened up and I was pleasantly surprised. They bill themselves as a bummer band and I can see what they mean by that with the heavy droning sound and all. Their sound seemed to me to be fusing Black Sabbath and The Velvet Underground, a combination that seems obvious and which I'm sure many bands have claimed, but Heavy Drag also amps up the psychedelic vibe which may be why  it works really well for them. I would have bought their album last night if it had been available on vinyl (because I'm a hipster) instead of cassette (because I'm not a superhipster). None the less, check them out on Spotify and elsewhere. Well worth it.

Speaking of being a hipster, we went to the show to see Broncho, who were opening for The Growlers. Nothing against The Growlers, but I guess they're just not my thing so we didn't plan on staying and didn't. This is not the first time we've gone just for the opener. And it probably won't be the last. And since we wound up discovering Heavy Drag, it was a bonus. 

broncho live
Whoa-oh oh-oh, whoa-oh oh-oh.
I'd been listening to them since their second album, Just Enough Hip to Be a Woman, came out last year. but still wasn't sure what to expect, but the bottom line is Broncho was great. I always forget just how small The Culture Room is and how great the sound generally is which was already a plus. Last night, I would say if there was any weakness in Broncho's show it was that they maybe went too loud, sacrificing clarity for the undeniable power and energy that the extra volume gave them. But, honestly, I can't complain because I didn't need to understand a single word Ryan Lindsey was singing beyond the "Whoa-oh oh-oh, whoa-oh oh- oh" in "What," or the stuttering "doo doo doo, etc" of "Class Historian." And while on the album their sound comes across with a heavier dose of glam, new wave and groove, live it was much more raw and, well, "CBGB," which in this case ranges from Ramones and Blondie to Iggy and Transformer era Lou Reed. So much punk going on in their riffs that I hadn't noticed until last night. And yet, still with the heavy textured effects and walls of reverb. It's a pretty fucking great combination that they balance without getting completely muddy. It's rock n roll, baby!

It was clear we were the oldest people at the show, which on the one hand is a sign that we're cool motherfuckers and the other is a sign that, no fuck it, we're just cool motherfuckers. We can only hope the kids at the show noticed and that it somehow inspires them. It's rock n roll, baby!!

broncho live
Rock n Roll!!

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