The Brobecks

A straightforward power pop act from the unlikely environs of Salt Lake City, UT, the Brobecks are further evidence of the salutary effects of bands honing their craft in towns that lack identifiable scenes they're expected to fit in with. (See also: Albuquerque's the Shins and Tarkio, Colin Meloy's Montana band before he decamped to Portland to form the Decemberists.) The Brobecks' blend of witty/snarky lyrics, clever pop hooks, and brash pop energy takes its cues from folks as disparate as XTC, Weezer, and Ben Folds Five, a set of influences not likely to fly in towns where everyone else wants to be the next Queens of the Stone Age. The original lineup of the Brobecks featured dueling singer/songwriters in guitarist Michael Gross and bassist Dallon Weekes, plus keyboardist Bryan Szymanski and drummer Drew Davidson. Following a self-titled debut, Szymanski was replaced by keyboardist and second guitarist Matt Seppi for the higher-profile The Happiest Nuclear Winter in 2005. Gross was by this time splitting his time between the Brobecks and a Postal Service-like folktronica duo called Let's Become Actors, who released their first album in 2006. Following the release of the Brobecks' third album, 2006's Goodnight, and Have a Pleasant Tomorrow, Gross left to concentrate on his other project, with the remaining members continuing as a trio. ~ Stewart Mason

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