BRONCHO

Bad Behavior

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    8
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AllMusic Review by

After some time spent trying to figure out what kind of band they were going to be, BRONCHO have settled into a steady groove and their fourth album, 2018's Bad Behavior, is their most confident and consistent record yet. They've shed any of the punk influence of their first record, cast aside the jittery new wave affections that plagued their second record, and shaken off the gloomy, stuck-in-a-well sound of their third. What they do here is play unassuming modern guitar pop songs in straightforward fashion, and it works. The melodies are strong, the arrangements are uncluttered while still being interesting, and vocalist Ryan Lindsey has reined in his idiosyncratic style just a little. He used to be pretty far out on the fringes of pronunciation and enunciation, which was fun, but perhaps unsustainable in the long run. Now he sounds like a bit of a nutcase instead of an alien who learned the language from the audience at a Dr. Phil taping. His more subdued approach fits well on stripped-down songs like "Sandman" and "Boys Got to Go," where he and the band seem to be on the same page for once. There's a lightness at play here that the band couldn't quite achieve in the past, and that makes the record far more pleasant to listen to. The tracks where they bump the energy levels up a bit, like on "Weekend" (where Lindsey does one of his classic moves and sings "berfren" instead of "boyfriend") and the new wavey "Get in My Car," are a lot of fun. BRONCHO may never be a great band, but they've finally figured how to be a good one, and Bad Behavior is a solid-plus pop album that sounds real good the first time through and stands up to repeated listens too.

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