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.
I've previously praised the hysterical, historical, incredible punk compositions of Titus Andronicus in these pages, but seeing them live was a whole other animal. Lead singer/guitarist Patrick Stickles has a limitless amount of charisma, and the audience loved every second that he pinballed around the stage, off the stage and even into the audience. His between-song banter caused laughs, and his requests that the audience sing along were raucously approved. Titus Andronicus traffics in unusually long songs that ramble and wander all over the place at the whim of Stickles, but the tunes almost always come to a concluding phrase that can be screamed repeatedly. This was true for the phrases "You will always be a loser," "Rally around the flag," "Your life is over," "I'm going insane," and "My eating disorder."
Those last two refrains may be unfamiliar to many Titus Andronicus fans, as they are from two new songs. (The repeated phrase was the name of the song in both cases.) One of them will be released on a 7" record, and the other's release schedule was not noted. The new songs were fascinating, retaining many aspects that TA fans have become accustomed to, while introducing pop-punk tempos, Irish inflections in the melodies, and a bit of metal influence in some of the guitar solos. I and Matt are both thoroughly looking forward to the songs' releases.
The audience was whipped into a fever pitch from the first moment of the show, and their passion boiled over in the tune "Titus Andronicus." Stickles yelled, "Your life is over!" into the microphone repeatedly while he crowd-surfed through the audience; it was a near-perfect convergence of bands and fans. They delivered him nicely back into the press pit, and he climbed up on stage to break down. The audience walked away in a dazed haze. Matt and I agreed that it was one of the more impressive shows we had seen at SXSW (and Matt suggested ever, for him).