Last week I treated myself to a concert at The Hamilton by The Wheeler Brothers. The opening band, Bronze Radio Return may have been new to my ears, but I grew to like their sugary folk pop sound. This band who hails from Hartford, Connecticut brought a fun time to the stage with their catchy tunes. I would describe the band as Indie Folk-Pop. I wasn’t expecting to write a whole review about them, but they warrant a second listen and deserve an equal shot.
Bronze Radio Return was comprised of a banjo, keyboard, drums, bass, and two guitars. I was immediately struck by how Hipster this band appeared: of the six band members, four wore plaid shirts, and one wore a knit hat. But that’s not something I would hold against them (or praise them) for and I listened on. I took many notes that night, but some of the things that kept coming up during this act was that this band really seemed to be heavily influenced by British folk group, Mumford and Sons (-click that link- it’s my new favorite thing). Bronze Radio Return’s singer had a distinct, breathy tenor voice. I compared his vocals to that of Vampire Weekend and Fun.
A song they did that I have become fond of, is the sing-a-longy, “Wonder No More” seen below:
Bronze Radio Return may borrow their sound from too many similar-sounding bands, creating a sound that might not seem so original, however it is fun, catchy, and good. While I might not have been able to pinpoint what I liked most about this band, I do want to note that I wasn’t able to tear myself away from my seat for fear of missing anything, even if my bladder was thinking otherwise. (Too much information? Whatever.)
So you ask, how catchy was Bronze Radio Return? They asked the audience to sing along to this tune, and not only did I oblige, but a week later, even remembered the simple part: “woah, I’ll see you there…”
I will give major points to the bassist for actually moving around a lot on the stage. There are far too many stagnant bass players in bands (as you can see from this great example) so any time I see a bassist that likes to rock and dance onstage, I applaud that energy. Another high point was seeing the banjo player double on harmonica. That guy seemed to be pretty talented, also playing guitar to round out his three instruments onstage. The keyboard player however, was probably the best guy of the group. He was a very talented musician and really added more depth to each piece. All in all, I was pleasantly surprised with what Bronze Radio Return brought to The Hamilton. I would see them again!