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Gig review: Broncho/Sparklejet/IGB @Fulton 55
Having so much music coming through town is a doubled-edge sword, because sometimes great shows happen to fall on a Monday night, following a pretty heavy weekend, and right before another much-hyped mid-week show. So people have to make choices. Sometimes they miss out. Last night was a case in point.
Sparklejet is known as the loudest band in Fresno, which is probably true, but also misses the point. They ARE loud, yes. Their drummer is known as Wade-o Tornado for a reason, and Victor Sotelo's guitar wail and his vocal one exist at equal intensities (and, at times, equal volume it seems). But focus on decibel levels and you might miss the rest of what this band is doing; making some of the most unique straight-ahead indie/post-punk/lo-fi/whatever rock in town. If you are a fan of indie-rock from the 90's (when it still had some ... balls, let's say) and you haven't seen Sparklejet, do yourself a favor and catch them soon. Side note: the band is done recording its new album. Look for more info on that soon.
Broncho (pronounced Bron-CHO) is from Oklahoma and they play spastic proto-punky new wave. It could technically fall under the garage-rock genre, I suppose. Some people have put it there. The band does remind me a lot of ex-Fresnan Greer McGettrick's The Mallard, which is always referenced as garage rock. But mostly Broncho reminds me of this Cherry Red Records compilation of American punk from the late 1970s (before it went aggro and became hardcore). I super like that comp and I super liked the band's set and can't wait until they come back through town. Side note: From Fresno, the band drove to LA to play a pair of shows with Social Distortion.
My band also played, happily, I might add (thanks to the bands and Love the Captive and everyone else who showed). People seemed happy when we were done. Take that how you will.