When a band like the Valley’s own BroLoaf tells you its new record has “pop sensibilities,” you just have to roll your eyes.
Those who have witnessed the spectacle of the almost 8-year-old band’s live show understand the general need to eye-roll when the subject of the “Loaf” comes up. If the words (and their collective meanings) “big,” “fun,” “messy,” “loud,” “beer-fueled,” “punk rock,” and “drugs” all got together and had sex with “sarcastic,” “jock,” and “stereotype,” then BroLoaf would be their love child. To be bathed in the light of the ’Loaf is to be baptized into a quasi-religious sect of rock ’n’ roll hedonism.
But eyes will definitely roll with the release of their new bundle of Guttermouth-tinged punk rock, Born to Party. Recorded at Switchblade Sound with Joe Asselin setting up the mics, and mixed and mastered by Byron Filson of Villain Recording, the 12-track album is a tribute to pastel polo shirts with the collar flipped up and all things druggie and douche-y (sadly, though, there are no songs about our beloved Governor Ducey).
“We are especially proud of this album. It has exceeded all of our expectations and sounds absolutely fantastic,” Ben Barnes says of the record.
The band formed on a lark as part of AzPunk.com’s Thrash of the Titans event back in 2008. Punk musicians from Phoenix and Tucson put their names in a proverbial hat and formed bands by random draw for a one-off performance at the late, great Hollywood Alley.
“Let’s not forget that BroLoaf has been the only band from the Thrash of the Titans to continue playing shows and putting out records,” Barnes says without a hint of irreverence. “Call it pure talent or fate; we decimated the competition that night just like we do every time we set foot on stage.”
Six bands formed for that event and, as Barnes pointed out, the lone survivor BroLoaf has evolved into one of the more entertaining bands to come from the once-nascent and now-dormant AzPunk.com scene. Only two of the original BroLoaf-ers are still in the band, and there have been, approximately, a dozen or more musicians, cheerleaders, heroes, villains, and drunkards to grace the stage with the band since that first gig. There is something charming about the band that keeps new and old fans alike coming to their periodic Valley gigs.
“Most of the time, people are blown away by their first Broloaf show, and we have been told many times ‘I have never seen anything like that before.’ … I have seen kids take trash from the stage home with them as a keepsake from their very first BroLoaf show — no doubt a life-changing experience,” shares Barnes, before he pauses for a second.
“However, sometimes you get people in the crowd who just do not get it. Maybe they wake up in the morning and hate who they see looking back at them in the mirror. Maybe they have no love for the ’Loaf, because their own lousy band doesn’t get to play the caliber of shows that BroLoaf does, or quite possibly, they just hate having fun,” Barnes concludes.
On April 16, BroLoaf will do its best and worst to the tiny stage at the Yucca Tap Room in Tempe to celebrate their (truly) excellent work on Born to Party with a freaking toga party, which makes one wonder if Rodney Hu, owner of the Yucca, has ever seen Caligula. Odds are good that fun will be had, confetti will be rained, and beers will be drunk. The lads in BroLoaf wouldn’t have it any other way.