Any working rock and roll band will tell you that the path to success —
however you choose to define it — is rarely easy. In the case of Oklahoma
band BRONCHO, the path leading to the release of their excellent
sophomore album, Just Enough Hip To Be Woman, is one characterized by
lots of luck (both good and bad) and a series of left turns that no one
could have predicted would end up resulting in one of 2014’s most
unexpectedly superb rock records.

Formed in 2010 by Ryan Lindsey, BRONCHO made a name for themselves
playing in and around Oklahoma before recording their debut album,
2011’s Can’t Get Past The Lips. That record, which instantly called to
mind gritty 70’s punk and glammy surf rock vibes, helped the band stay
on the road for the better part of two years and generated the
singles “Try Me Out Sometime,” “I Don’t Really Wanna Be Social” and
“Record Store.” Still, just as momentum was building for the band their
record label very unceremoniously collapsed, leaving them out on the
road with no real support. For a lot of young bands, this might have been
the death knell, but for BRONCHO the experience proved to be oddly
liberating. “It was really no one’s fault,” says Lindsey, “Just one of those
things. We decided to just keep trucking through it and to focus on
making new songs. We really believed in these new songs. There was
never any moment when we thought about quitting. If you are a musician,
you just keep making music. That’s what you do.”

Label woes aside, things eventually turned around for BRONCHO. In a
nice bit of serendipity, one of the band’s new demos — the unstoppably
catchy “It’s On” — found its way to GIRLS creator Lena Dunham who used
the song as the end title for the season three premiere of her series. “We
couldn’t believe how much attention that gave us,” recalls Lindsey.
“Suddenly there was all of this renewed interest in the band. Our feelings
about what we were doing had never wavered, but now people were
paying attention again.” Seeing their fortunes turn once again, the band
eventually worked out a new label deal with Dine Alone Records and set
about putting the finishing touches on album number two.

“Class Historian”

Just Enough Hip To Be Woman is a bold step forward for BRONCHO.
Though it certainly bears the hallmarks of their previous work — fuzzy,
guitar driven rock – the production and energy of the record moves into
decidedly sleeker and decidedly more new wave directions (think Cheap
Trick meets the Drive soundtrack meets every great song from Fast Times
at Ridgemont High meets the greatest after-hours party you’ve never
been to). Tracks like “Stay Loose,” “NC-17” and “What” are the kind of
pop-rock that could have easily been beamed in from the same universe
that gave rise to The Cars (or a looser version of The Strokes), while the
album’s first single, “Class Historian” — with its unstoppable “do do do
do” vocal refrain is the kind of song that seems scientifically engineered
to stick in your brain forever and is arguably best played loudly over a car
stereo with the windows down and your long hair blowing in the breeze.
Clocking in at just more than 30 minutes, the eleven tracks on the new
record are a potent statement of intent: an effortless sounding rock
record that dips its toe into a variety of different styles without every
succumbing to any of them. It’s a record that sounds like the summer. Or
the future.

For Lindsey, making Just Enough Hip To Be Woman was more than just a
labor of love; it was the culmination of a lifetime of playing around in
bands and spending a million hours kicking around in rock clubs. Having
just made one of the year’s most infinitely playable records, BRONCHO
will spend much of the fall on the road, which is just fine with the band.
“Playing live is the entire reason you start a band,” says Lindsey, “We
always want to change things and keeps things new — and I’m really
proud of how this record came out and the ways we were able to push
things forward — but playing live is always the test. We want people to
hear us. We want everyone to have a good time.”