Broncho with The Boom Bang and Skating Polly
9 p.m. Friday
Opolis, 113 N. Crawford, Norman
It’s easy to get past the little things when the bigger picture is so great.
Ryan Lindsey was just hours removed from learning that many of his belongings — including a laptop, guitars, recording equipment and a sizable chunk of his record collection — had been pilfered from his Norman residence, but he still had a smile on his face discussing his newest project, one that began as but a piss in the wind, yet quickly proved far too good to laugh off.
“It’s been a nice change-up to everything else I do,” Lindsey said. “It started as a project, kind of turned into a band, and from here on out, it feels like it’s even turning into something more than that.”
The fast, sweaty and succinct punk tunes of Broncho are a far cry from the music that garnered its members followings in their other, more prominent Oklahoma-based acts, and readily defy the restrictions and expectations held by those full-time gigs.
Those projects include the lauded experimental act Unwed Sailor; ’90s noise-rock revivalists Native Lights; and Lindsey’s acoustic, indie-pop solo work — all tailored and tucked-in in their on distinct ways.
Broncho, however, is decidedly off-the-cuff, rearing and bucking to the tune of mini-anthems and roaring guitar rifts. It’s probably just what the doctor ordered for front man Lindsey, bassist Johnathon Ford, guitarist Ben King and drummer Nathan Price, whose more composed alter egos in their mother bands don’t necessarily allow for this level of amusement.
But being the serious musicians that they are, their approach to Broncho is still purposeful — write good songs and have fun playing them — although Ford said much has been lost in recent generations of punk.
“So many punk bands have the shittiest songs you’ve ever heard,” he said. “It’s been regurgitated so many times, and I think they have lost the idea of writing good songs. It’s more like, ‘be loud, play the part and the songs will come later,’ but the song is always the most important part.”
Broncho doesn’t shy away from that. Decades worth of influences have twisted and bent the straightforward punk aesthetic into its sound.
“Punk is the easiest way to describe it, but I don’t think it’s just that,” Lindsey said. “Buddy Holly is just as much an influence as anybody else.”
The one element of anarchy that remains unfiltered is song length. On the group’s recently released debut album, “Can’t Get Past the Lips,” the tracks rarely register past the two-minute mark, and the whole affair clocks in at just more than 20 minutes.
“Most of these songs happened in a matter of minutes. It’s not like we were slugging away and working to make things sound a certain way. They just happened,” Ford said. “At first, we were like, ‘Can we really have this short of songs?’ But we know and quickly realized that it’s fine; Broncho is gonna be what it’s gonna be.”
Indeed it is — the group nearly has enough new material for a followup, and its clamoring home bases of Norman and Tulsa have fallen in love with the quick tunes that take on an unparalleled, palpable energy live.
It’s only fitting that the energy fueling crowds — such as Friday’s at Opolis in Norman — comes from the excitement fueling them.
“I think it’s just from being excited about something, being excited about where you are with what you are doing,” Lindsey said. “With this band, we can be having a stressful day, but that energy comes from being genuinely excited about what you are doing.
Bands can try to force that, but that excitement has to be at the center of things … just like it is here.”