There seems to be a strange disdain from some parts for bands formed of just two members. That’s pretty hard to understand when it comes to a duo like Broozer, who refuse to conform to one genre and are more than happy to mix things up from song to song.
The Black Country duo, who describe themselves as “a pair of weirdos trying to make music,” jump between raucous punk and rock styles, with a heavy emphasis on delicious fuzz-laden riffs. And you can expect everything on the spectrum between the two genres from one song to the next.
The Wolverhampton pairing of Dunc (guitars and vocals) and Jake (drums) have known each other since school and played in a couple of bands that ended up fizzling out. They started the current band out as a three-piece but had several failed attempts at finding a drummer. As a result, a couple of years ago Jake decided to step away from vocals in order to learn the drums and take the role on for himself and continue as a duo, which is pretty impressive.
As Dunc explains: “I’d describe our sound as basic but energetic, fairly riff-based. You can’t do too much guitar acrobatics in a two-piece as it can get wasted – also because we’re not good enough musicians to fly up and down the fret board finger tapping all over the place and busting out drum solos. Although Jake is pretty good for the two years or so he’s been drumming.
“Overall it seems to have gone down well so far, we’ve had some really good positive feedback off folk, including some new fans which is always a bonus. We’ve also had some people absolutely slate it, however we quite like that, nothing beats it! The fact we are a two-piece has got under people’s skin for some reason and that amuses us quite a lot. You’ll never please everyone and we’re happy with that.”
Our first taste of the band was most recent single The Way I Like It, which was taken from their second EP Average At Best, which was released last month and marks a turning point for the band.
As Dunc tells us: “The EP is unlike anything we’ve done before. It shows how we have changed as a two-piece from our previous EP and various singles we’ve released. It doesn’t conform to a particular sound or genre. Each song is very different and we’re comfortable with that. During the writing process if we liked the song it would stay, we weren’t really fussed about it fitting in or drastically changing songs to fit the punk genre which we’ve been associated with before. Maybe that’s punk, I don’t know.”
The EP opens up with The Way I Like It, which opens up with cool spinning low-tuned guitars that drop straight into a lively chorus. That feeds into a first verse of engaging vocals
That’s followed by the more laid-back Waiting, which opens up with twinkling guitars that continue under Dunc’s vocals. Drums kick in alongside faster guitars and build up to a big singalong chorus of “I’m waiting for you to love me.” A couple of verse and choruses lead into a section of fast guitars that feed into a final upbeat chorus.
Love Ain’t Forever has more of a noise rock feel to its intro, which drops into high-pitched vocals that feed into the noisy chorus. Mid-way through it drops into a drawn-out guitar chord, then suddenly explodes into fast driving drums and guitar chords with heavier vocals that offer a completely different, almost hardcore punk edge to the band.
And the EP closes out with Talking To A Wall, which begins with a fun guitar riff and rolling drums, which drop into almost spoken vocals over big cymbals and guitars. Palm-muted guitars feed into lively guitar chords and drums supporting a fast-paced chorus “Talking to myself, I’m talking to a wall, Looking like a fool, I’m looking.” It descends into a bit of chaos mid-way through with a fun blitz of guitars and rolling drums that feed into heavy repeats of the chorus vocals.
And for a taste of how the band’s sound has evolved, check out their debut single Son of Man here:
The Broozer sound has been shaped by a wide range of musical influences, from The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix, through to punk rock acts like The Damned and The Stranglers, and rock and grunge bands like Nirvana and Queens of the Stone Age. It also extends to more modern bands like Bass Drum of Death, Idles, Slaves and God Damn, while Jake tells us he’s recently started listening to Twenty One Pilots.
And on what inspires them to write music, Dunc tells us: “We don’t have a single theme or topic for this EP. It was written during the first lockdown and recorded in the summer and autumn. It’s about people we meet and their struggles with life, human behaviour and wanting to fit in or be heard. It’s also about getting older and wishing you’d done more and how you can’t turn back time. Life in general really.
Fingers crossed, Broozer hope to start gigging again soon when venues reopen – looking ahead to a show booked in at Dead Wax in Birmingham on 28 April. They also plan to get back in the studio early this year, so expect more new music soon too.
And Dunc adds: “Don’t expect too much, we’re nothing special, but if you want to listen to a pair of weirdos trying to make music then go for it. Some of our lyrics are inspired by the rat that used to live in our old lock up where we practiced before it got demolished.”