Salt Lake City’s The Brobecks aren’t what you might expect of a band from one of the most conservative parts of the country. They ooze free-floating choruses and danceable hooks. The vocals are buoyant and brazen, and the keyboard never loses its grasp of the melody.
Perhaps, as lead singer and guitarist Mike Gross suggests, the band’s freewheeling style is actually a direct result of the band’s place of birth.
“[Salt Lake] isn’t tainted,” Gross says. “Some cities have their own sound and bands in those cities sometimes feel pressure to sort of fit into that sound. I think that being from the middle of nowhere has made our music come in its purest form and there’s no pressure to fit a scene. There’s, maybe, a lot of hard-rock bands here, [but] there’s not a lot of bands doing what we do.”
As unencumbered as The Brobecks’ tunes are, they’re also unashamedly committed to writing digestible tracks. “We’re all big fans of melody,” Gross says. “Growing up, I always liked melodic bands and I don’t know how to write anything other than that.”
Accompanying the pop elements of The Brobecks’ sound is a tinge of awkwardness and inaccessibility. The same type of anti-pop traits that characterize many of The Brobecks’ influences (which include The Flaming Lips, Talking Heads and Built to Spill) are a part of the Utah quartet’s sound as well. Perhaps it takes the form of a slightly ominous keyboard riff or a spark of vocal disharmony, but there’s usually something that keeps the tracks from feeling completely comfortable.
The Brobecks are touring in support of their newest release, Good Night and Have a Pleasant Tomorrow, and will join their friends from local atmospheric rock group Soular for a 21-and-over show at the Launchpad on Saturday, Sept. 9. “We met at a show in Southern Utah,” Gross says regarding how his band first met Soular. “We played with these two other hardcore screamo bands and we liked each other’s sound right away.”