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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 ever succumbing to any of them.
Listen through the ethereal haze that Brass Bed has created on The Secret Will Keep You, and you will find a soulful band suspended in a moment of frustration and anxiety. It's the sort of frustration that comes from growing old and realizing that the light at the end of the tunnel may just be the remnants of some dying star. You were a kid once. Maybe your dad put you on his knee and said "Kiddo, you sure are handsome, smart, and talented. The sky is the limit if you set your mind to it!" Well the truth is, that was kind of bullshit. Chances are, you were only one of those things if any of them at all, and you'll spend your life amid the great unwashed, grasping at whatever straws you can to express a promised individuality that's slowly turning out to be lie. They also didn't tell you that your dream job, your dream girl, your dream you, were really all just that: dreams.The Secret Will Keep You is a cold awakening from that fever dream sound.
After two album cycles playing studio maestros and pop aficionados, the Louisiana quartet found itself confused. On the one hand, it had cultivated an image of playful poppiness, a kind of 21st century mop topped fuzz rock that sought to dilute the dourness of their records lyrics with saccharine pieces of earcandy. Sent through the band's itchy live energy, the songs became faster, trashier, and splendidly erratic, creating a disconnected identity between studio and stage. As they settled down to make their 3rd LP, they were determined to ditch the obtuse lyrics, playground song craft, and squeaky precision and bare their teeth, plaque and all. The result is a maddening blend of swirling, biting psychedelia, at once as pensive as a black hole and explosive as a dying star. A universe of guitar feedback and deconstructed keyboard beds pulling the listener apart in the gravity of full analog stereo.
The band recorded The Secret in a single 10 day session with Danny Reisch at Public Hi Fi Studios in Austin, Texas, putting everything down live to tape. The compressed schedule and quick change recording methods helped Brass Bed capture the anxiety, humor, and honesty that is the molten core of this record and also the spirit of the band at the time of its creation.
From the wry and acerbic indictment of faith in "Cold Chicory" to the pleading lonesomeness of "I Guess I'll Just Sing" to the outright romantic frustration of "A Bullet For You," the album invites listeners to join the band as they traverse what lies between joy and regret, bliss and distress. These creations are still living, breathing things and that Brass Bed will only inject with more life and spirit as they continue to grow as writers and musicians. Catch up with them now before they leave you in their considerable wake.