Record Label: Dine Alone Records
Rating: 6.0 /10
Listening to ‘Just Enough Hip To Be Woman’ – the second LP by Broncho – is akin to half hearing snippets from recognizable bands being half-heartedly mimicked. Throughout the band’s sophomore effort, there’s flashes of The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, Howler and The Velvet Underground but as the Oklahoma outfit churn out track after track, an air of lethargy lays heavy upon the album like a veil of dust.
The album commences in a clunky fashion, the opening tracks appear half cooked with vocals mumbled and instrumentation delivered with limited conviction. ‘What’ and ‘Class Historian’ lack purpose with a generic jingle-jangle indie schtick making up their DNA. The latter contains irritating “do do do’s” that whiff of filler rather than playful lyrical twists. ‘Deena’ could be more direct, even the call to arms “say you wanna feel something/say you wanna care” is bereft of any stirring battle cry. Nonchalance reigns supreme on ‘Just Enough Hip To Be Woman’ with Broncho angling themselves somewhere between hipster cool and plain boredom.
Despite the album’s less assertive first impressions, if you give it some time you’ll unearth a range of occurrences that shine amongst the indifference – ‘NC-17’ ripples with a cascading guitar line and a frazzled solo which portrays a demented moment of fretwork. ‘Stop Tricking’ is fired up by a merged organic and synthetic beat approach which is later diluted by meagre vocals and directionless guitars but the toying with percussion is a pleasing instance. Notably, when Broncho veer towards the dark side, their best work comes from their fingertips. ‘Taj Mahal’ is a brooding bevy of feedback and menacing scree while Just Enough Hip To Be Woman closer ‘China’ is worth wading through the record’s tepid waters for a brooding slice of sinister garage rock. Droning vocals provide an eerie menace, while scratchy guitars fizz and twang. A frenzied breakdown provides a golden send off to a patchy, and at times uninspired, album.
Maybe it’s the title but ‘Just Enough Hip To Be Woman’ almost gets us gyrating but maybe Broncho could do with a hip replacement for LP3.
Word and Thoughts of Adam Williams