Thursday, June 09, 2016

Album Review :: BRONCHO - Double Vanity


Double Vanity

June 17 2016 (Dine Alone Records)


Words: Richard O’Hagan

Eighteen months ago, BRONCHO released their second album ‘Just Enough Hip To Be Woman’, a terribly titled but very warm and fuzzy little affair. Now they return, again on the excellent Dine Alone label, with the follow-up and, well, it is all a bit disappointing, really.

You see, here at Little Indie we really liked ‘Just Enough Hip…’ and were rather looking forward to ‘Double Vanity’, in the way that you might look forward to a second date with someone you clicked with the first time around. And yet everything about BRONCHO the second time around is just a little bit off and grating. Ryan Lindsey’s vocals are even more slurred and indecipherable. The Jesus And Mary Chain references are a bit too obvious, especially on opener ‘All Time’. And, most crucially, they’ve gone extremely shoegazey. Yes, that’s right, shoegazey. That nice, buzzing, swagger of the debut has disappeared, to be replaced by the dour introspection of the early 1990s. The fact that the likes of Lush, Ride and Slowdive have reformed doesn’t mean that this is a good bandwagon to jump on, because shoegazing was hard to do well then and it remains hard to do now. And BRONCHO don’t do it well at all, with the result that they come pretty close to screwing up that second date.

In fact, only two things save this from being the musical equivalent of the most disappointing shag of all time. The first is ‘SeƱora Borealis’, which is much more akin to the old dirty, sludgy BRONCHO, with its refrain of “Spill the blood, spill the beans”. Even better is the adorable ‘Soak Up The Sun’, which has a melody so gorgeous you’ll want to forget how stilted the rest of the conversation has been and go straight to the register office. In truth, it isn’t quite enough to redeem the whole album – after all, there’s no excuse for bad sex – but it is enough to make you want to give BRONCHO another chance.

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