Brom – Dance With an Idiot

4 out of 5

Label: Trost

Produced by: Leonardo Perez (recorded by, mixed by)

Spasmodic jazz with a whirlwind of influences that equals a distinct, interestingly focused, sound.

With its barrage of thrash drums and drilling guitar and bass kicking things off, Brom rather instantly remind of The Flying Luttenbachers, or something in that vein: unleashed mashes of horns and punk-fueled riffing. But this opener – Demons – is also sort of the exorcising of that, showing the fullest barrage of what Brom is capable, and then showing off some other tricks on the A-side before getting into a full, emphatic groove over on B.

This does make the first side of the LP a bit difficult on first listen: Simple Story brings in a nice bass beat, and starts doing a bit of Zu-esuqe post rock, but then fragments and breaks up the beat, preventing this “simple” song from being all that straight-forward. The title track goes even further down this road, pieced together from different segments. It’s fun, but seems a bit showy and overly herky-jerk, until Goodbye, White Rhino! brings these elements together for one whole, impressive, and cohesive – though still wild and swerving! – show. The A-side is thus meant (to my ears) to be taken as all essential components of one big ol’ concept, and once revealed, it merits relistens.

…But not before getting to the B-side, when Brom allows themselves the courtesy of playing “for real:” real songs, real riffs, threaded throughout entire tracks. Having earned our way through the crucible of the A-side, this is our reward, with classic jazz found on a freaked out cover of Salty Peanuts, and then further post- and art-rock influences with Thinking Feller-esque sidebars and plucking, and proggy key flourishes from guitarist Felix Mikensky. It’s a weird brew that keeps working, though, because of the restraint applied to these elements – beyond that opener, the group withholds from going all-out improv bashing… making it fitting when they return to the bashing, now unleashed to another tier, for the celebratory closeout of This Is A Good Club Though Some Bad Music Is Played Here.