For all the goodness that still exists in the world, it’s the shitty people who seem to grab all the headlines these days. This reality is not lost on the members of Oklahoma-based Broncho.
“The title of our new record is Bad Behavior, and anyone can get a pretty good idea why, with everything that’s going on in our world down here,” singer-guitarist Ryan Lindsey says, on his cellphone from his hometown of Tulsa. “Not just in America, but all over the place, there’s a lot of bad behaviour going on. But in a lot of ways, this is also our brightest record we’ve made, and probably our happiest.”
There’s little dispute that Bad Behavior finds Broncho sounding sunnier than it did on its last outing, Double Vanity, which flirted with everything from apocalyptic voodoobilly to midnight surf. Bad Behavior has the quartet breaking out the cowbell for the paisley-hazed kickoff number, “All Choked Up”, connecting the dots between the Strokes and Redd Kross on “Keep It in Line”, and giving garage a sunflower-yellow makeover with “Easy Way Out”.
Lindsey initially says the members of Broncho aren’t entirely sure why the songs ended up so bright-eyed, suggesting that he—along with guitarist Ben King, bassist Penny Pitchlynn, and drummer Nathan Price—is still trying to figure that out. But push him on the subject, and he eventually allows that sometimes the best way to deal with a country overrun by Donald Trumps, Harvey Weinsteins, and Kevin Spaceys is to try to make the world a better place.
“It’s probably a way to try and cope,” he says. “I mean, I’m the youngest of three boys, so I’ve always had the idea that you can use humour to get out of certain circumstances. That’s kind of what we do as a band—take the approach that to get through things sometimes you have to laugh.”
Lest that lead one to assume Broncho has made a record that mixes the humour of Ween and NOFX with the sloganeering of a pregentrification-Cobalt punk band, rest assured the songs are intentionally left lyrically vague on Bad Behavior. When things are less than great, the last thing anyone wants is someone making them feel even worse.
“It’s ‘choose your adventure’ in a lot of ways,” Lindsey says. “It’s almost like a colouring book where we’ve drawn the outlines to set a perimeter. From there, there’s room for people to decide how they feel about things.”
Broncho plays the Fox Cabaret on Thursday (February 7).