A one man rock band might sound like an oxymoron but that’s exactly what Atomic Bronco is. The creation of producer, musician and songwriter Kyle Nuss, originally from the heart of rural America, but now based in London, Atomic Bronco is a band that embraces alt rock, classic rock and lo fi indie sounds to make a genre driven by lyrical melodies and it’s own sensual rhythm.
Kyle’s recently released EP, Spectrum, is a seven track exploration of what a one man rock band can do and the end result is very good. Filled with acoustic guitar riffs, the lure of the electric guitar solo is never far away, with several tracks building into some sensational playing, without falling into the trap of hijacking the song. Regular readers will know that I’m a sucker for lyrics and songs that tell a story and the guitar solos here were a perfect length for me.
My favourite track by far is ‘Holding On‘, a beautifully constructed heartbreak song built around the idea that the lover will come back. It also touches on a reason for the heartbreak that rarely makes it into a song:
“I took it for granted how tender you were”
Being taken for granted is a much more likely end to a relationship than any one major thing and it’s good to see this reflected in song.
The song has a bouncy yet laidback rhythm that creates a feeling of happiness that works brilliantly juxtaposed against the heartbreak lyrics. Kyle’s dreamy vocals are a huge part of this, being a perfect match for the melody. It’s an ideal song for this time of year, as is ‘Summertown Girl’, a happy, upbeat love song that matches the rhythms of ‘Holding On’.
‘Headfirst‘ takes the EP in a different direction, with a quicker paced romp through the track that builds into a fabulous guitar led climax. ‘Desert Sky‘ continues the rock theme but with a country tinge that creates an epic, on-the-road sound.
Similarly, ‘Just Friends’ is a classic rock take on the age old issue of platonic friendships turning to love – or not, it would seem in this case.
“reached that point when you say my name…trying hard to keep my cool”
I love these lyrics, showing unrequited love that the other one just can’t see – although I have to say that most women can see, even if they won’t acknowledge it even to themselves.
The insight contained in the lyrics of all seven songs, together with the rhythms, give the EP a surprisingly sensual feel – Spectrum would make a lovely backdrop to a summer romance.
Kyle’s advice for aspiring musicians looks at creating your own sound:
“Don’t be afraid to take some risks and work on finding your own sound. It might be tempting to try and chase what’s popular now, but I’ve found that it’s much easier to stay inspired and enjoy the process if you stay true to yourself. Especially if you’ve found something unique that you can call your own, it just makes it so much more fun to pursue.”
Spectrum was released on 1 June. Get your copy here.
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