Sweet Bronco

Published on November 21st, 2013

Sweet Bronco at Plan B in Ybor City

The March Has Begun
From the first few seconds of Sweet Bronco’s soon-to-be-released debut album, Morning Night, a pronounced schizophrenic influence shimmers forth that reveals this record as refreshingly original. It’s a wash of fuzzy shoegaze mixed with stomping, raw Americana. “It’s hard for me to separate out all the influences,” admits the band’s mastermind, singer/guitarist Chris Horgan. “Shoegaze and Americana are big for me, but the Pixies and Radiohead are in there too. And then there’s all the great ‘60s bands – the Stones and Velvet Underground, the Left Banke and the Zombies, etc. I can’t isolate any specific area of music as being a primary influence. I strive to write good melodies to rhythms that make me want to move.”

The title track recalls the lethargic quality of The Donkeys and their creeping slow-building psychedelic roots rock. A little echo on the vocals reveals that Radiohead reference Horgan notes, and then the song turns decidedly psychedelic, building to Horgan open cooing, joined by the harmonic sighs of a female vocalist, as the drums turn double time, and electric wind of synths and guitar feedback washing over the entire thing. The shoegaze feel dominates much of the songs, and some of the influences are quite obscure. “King” reveals of A Storm In Heaven-era Verve influence, as a subtle howl of electric wind coats the track despite a rollicking, garage rock vibe.

sweetbronco_morningnight72The result is a dynamic LP of layered, often atmospheric guitar work and propellant drums. Above it all are Horgans’ airy, crystalline vocals. The lyrics reveal a rather loose story that, he admits, kind of make Morning Night a concept album. “One night I was piecing together the lyrics for a new song when the notion of eternal night worked its way into the verse,” says the Fort Lauderdale-based musician. “Pretty soon I had a vision of a mass exodus of people marching willingly into eternal darkness. Then, in subsequent songs, I started developing a loose narrative that stemmed from that vision. I didn’t really set out to make a concept album so much as I created a world for the songs to grow out of.”

The album was rather painstakingly constructed over a period of years. “The songs for the album were written between 2007 and 2010,” Horgan notes. “The recording process did not begin until 2010 and ended in 2012; 2013 has been all mixing and mastering.”

Horgan says a variety of things accounted for the length of time he spent on this record, but don’t call him lazy. In fact, the time he spent making Morning Night marked a period of juggling various projects. “I have a hard time sticking to just one project at a time,” he explains. “Sometimes the inspiration goes out of one project and into another, so I’ve let myself get distracted by a number of other projects, and the consequence is that things take a lot longer to finish. I’ve probably recorded about four or more other albums during the recording of Morning Night, so I have a lot of releasing to do. I really hope this is the last time I allow myself to take this long to release something.”

sweetbvagDespite that, the album has a true cohesive quality, beyond the obvious lyrical themes. But they also never have a redundant sameness to them, making for a dynamic record that Horgan hope listeners will enjoy as an experience. Therefore, he plans to release the album as a vinyl record, independently. “I’m still a big fan of albums,” he notes, “and I think vinyl is the best way to experience an album. Our future releases will likely be collections of songs, but Morning Night is an album, so we’re releasing it on vinyl.”

Vinyl has transcended its fetishistic vintage resurgence as a serious source of quality audio compared to the compressed sonics of mp3s and even CDs. The spacious quality of the album would indeed be well-served with a vinyl version. However, Horgan says, he’s not above considering a cassette release either, which would even further insist the album as a solid experience. “I haven’t looked into the cost of cassettes yet,” he says, “but for Morning Night, we’ll probably give it a try.”


As usual, Horgan keeps busy multitasking. A rotating group of musicians helped him record the album and play occasional live shows with him as Sweet Bronco across South Florida. Now he has to establish a touring band, as he hopes to take Sweet Bronco on the road. He remains optimistic about touring plans, though, he admits, “We still have a lot of work to do. But I feel like we’re building good momentum.”


Get the digital download of Sweet Bronco’s ‘Morning Night’ HERE! (Camp Thunderbee)

~Hans Morgenstern | The Independent Ethos

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