Published on August 20th, 2015




Broncho’s frontman, Ryan Lindsey, is humbled by comparisons to Joy Division, OMD and Roxy Music. You get a sense he’s genuinely excited about hearing the names of these bands in context with some of his band’s stylistic flourishes. We called the band’s guitarist/vocalist in Norman, Oklahoma, where he and his bandmates are currently recording their third album.

Speaking to him about the small details of Broncho’s songs, like counter melodies and odd phrasing, it’s clear he’s no cheap imitator of rock gone by. He’s a seeker of being genuine to the classic pop groove … and its subversion. Lindsey talks about making his voice an instrument, playing with shortening words or even doing some phonetic, wordless singing, like the stuttering rapid-fire refrain that made “Class Historian” such a success last year.

“I think that’s the big difference between this record and the last record,” notes Lindsey. “There’s a lot more implementation of melodies from all aspects, the guitars, vocals, even non-word vocals, oos and ahs, ohs. I like throwing those in, and this record had a lot more of that.”

The band went through a profound evolution between its 2011 debut, Can’t Get Past the Lips, which flaunted a brash garage punk sound, to the acutely post-punk stylings of 2014’s Just Enough Hip to Be Woman.

“I like to explore other possibilities,” says Lindsey. “Not one record has to necessarily be what this band is … forever. We can have a little more fun and mix it up. I figured the next record would be different, and part of it is what makes enough sense for each song, so for some of those songs, it made sense to have them feel like there was a synth pad, even though there wasn’t. It felt like there needed to be some warmth, and some of the chord structure would dictate some of that. For some of those songs it made sense to use production the way we did.”

Picking apart the catchy, surprising song constructions that Broncho traffics in reveals a keen sense of craft. Take the new album’s third track, “Deena.” Much of the song bounds along on a brash punky grove, but about two-thirds of the way through, the band adds a contrasting melody, which suddenly amps up the film’s catchy quality. It lasts for only 30 seconds or so before it come to a rattling close, but it’s key to raising the song to a the level of brilliance.

Lindsey calls “Deena” one of his favorite tracks on the last album, but it took some effort to get it just right. “When we first started playing that song, we played it like way slower, and then when we started doing it for the record, it just made sense to speed it up … When we sped it up, it was really hard to play.” He laughs. “I can do it now because we’ve been playing so many shows. I’m in shape now. But previously, it was like so hard to play that part on the recording.”

But if Lindsey has to point to the biggest evolution for the band, it lies in its lyrics, which have a looser, less contrived feel. “That was probably more than anything a true progression,” he says, “cause on the first record, a lot of it was things that made us laugh, and I think we expanded on that on this record, coming up with something that makes us laugh and then thinking it may make sense in something, or it’s just a great moment.”

 Broncho are redeemers of pop rock in the best, most pure sense, writing from raw elements and not relying on shady studio tricky, much of which dominates eMpTyV’s morning programming and pop culture. Here’s to looking forward to what they are cooking up in the studio now.

Broncho open for the Growlers at Culture Room (, Nov. 3 at 7:30pm
~ Hans Morgenstern | The Independent Ethos (