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Album Review: Broncho – Double Vanity

2 min read

Broncho have taken a somewhat different, unexpected route for their third album, Double Vanity. While the sluggish, reverb-laden indie rock of the album isn’t entirely new for the bane, any sense of upbeat energy and pop hooks have been completely removed from the album, opting for something much more coherent and simultaneously dull. By breaking the album down to one core sound, they’ve managed to strip it of most of its potential entertainment factor.

Broncho Double VanityWhether you’re starting the album with the single Fantasy Boys or the album’s first song All Time, you know exactly what to expect from Double Vanity. Dreamy indie rock songs with pounds of reverb and a slight shoegaze sensibility are all the album has to offer, with the biggest change being whether a song places more emphasis on its reverb as it does in its first half, or on the rock sound like it does in the second half; these differences, however, are minor at best. Vocalist Ben King continues to twist his voices in as many ways as possible, creating some interesting moments across the album and often being the defining factor of the songs.

Of the album’s tracks, the two that rely the least on reverb tend to be the most interesting. While Señora Borealis still features King with his vocals almost unintelligible thanks to reverb, the direct instrumental behind the track is much more appealing and feels somewhat unique in the grand scheme of the album; much more akin to their previous work than this new album. New Karma adds some of the reverb back, but keeps it lighter than most of the album as well, acting as a bit of a halfway point between Señora Borealis and the rest. While they don’t save the album, they do help it leave a somewhat better impression.

But largely, there just isn’t that much to enjoy about Double Vanity. Without songs like Class Historian to break the mood, it comes across as a length blur of songs that feel exactly the same as each other, stripping the album of any reason to really revisit it unless it happens to fill a particular niche that you’re interested in. Rather than refining their sound to a point that really makes it shine, Double Vanity reads as a step backwards for Broncho.