The world is in the midst of an electronic music renaissance, and you find most of this boon of producers laying claim to the club-friendly, bass-dropping variety, holing up in the the free-flowing world of hip-hop beatmaking or pitching their tent on the out-there, boundary-pushing EDM camp.
Broncho has never been hurting in the hook department. The success of the trio’s 2011 debut, Can’t Get Past the Lips, was predicated mostly on its ability to marry melodies with kinetic guitar riffs and anarchic energy. Yet we’ve heard nothing to the degree of pure pop catchiness on display in “Class Historian,” the new single from Broncho’s upcoming sophomore album, Just Enough Hip to Be Woman.
No one wants to be forgotten; everyone wants some sort of legacy, a mark they leave behind as they exit this life for whatever lies beyond.
And for as long as there has been death, there have been monuments — whether austere or understated, abstract or concrete, prominent or tucked away in private — erected by the ones they loved to assure that remembrance, at least for a time.
Some of the best albums and artists were born out of happy accidents owed to varying degrees of early suckage — the perfect note or chord for a song found by missing the one you are aiming for, failed mimicry of an idol bearing something entirely new and great instead.
Gentle Ghost with Chris Bathgate and Riley Jantzen & The Spirits Saturday The Deli 309 White, Norman thedeli.us 321-7048
Amid Gentle Ghost’s signature jarring, distorted, three-guitar assault, singer Seth McCarroll has to work extra hard to keep from getting drowned out.
His close attention to storytelling detail and occasional bouts of shouting creates an aggressive tension with the Norman post-rock band’s especially loud style, which mimics some of the destructive domestic themes explored in its 2010 album, “Family.”
“He’s one of my favorite songwriters,” guitarist Brady Smith (pictured, right) said. “He’s great at creating a very illustrated story with the words, and drawing from things that aren’t obvious. Expressing feelings and emotions by describing something, instead of saying, ‘I feel this way’ or ‘You broke my heart.’” He compared McCarroll’s (pictured) talents to songwriters like Conor Oberst and Tim Kasher, best known for his work with the group Cursive.
“He’s very perceptive to harsh details and stuff that grabs your attention,” Smith said.
Like the album title, the six-piece (which includes Scott Harper and brothers Adam and Tyler Huskerson) is a close bunch, for whom friendship comes first. They write, practice and record as time allows and play shows without regular frequency.
Saturday night’s set at The Deli, with local Riley Jantzen and Michigan’s Chris Bathgate, will be their first since September’s Deep Deuce Music Festival, where they played new songs with faster tempos and ominous, samples from podcasts about paranormal activity.
“We really wanted something to tie our songs together. We’re just playing rock songs, but we also want this sense of drama,” Smith said. “So to be able to tie those together thematically — and not in a way that instrumental bands do like Explosions [in the Sky], where it’s 52 minutes of nonstop playing. We’re just trying to get from point A to D, and have it feel like a really smooth process. So while we’re tuning or something, people can listen to this crazy, theoretical nonsense about UFOs. And you don’t really know what it’s about.”
The effect is challenging — like the best post-rock music — and a little unsettling, like you’ve returned home to find your stuff rearranged. Perhaps by some friendly apparition, suggested by the band’s name?
Smith said they plan to release a 7-inch recording in the near future, and that six new songs are in the final tweaking phase (“Just a couple more bolts and screws tightened”) and three more are under heavier construction.
“We keep in mind that when we play this stuff live, we don’t want it to be boring,” Smith said. “We’ve got three guitars, so we’re always trying to find out how to avoid playing just chords all the time.”