Broke Royals Release The Bartees Strange-Produced Track “Slam Band”
On April 13th, Washington D.C.-based rock band Broke Royals released their latest track, “Slam Band.” Produced by the incomparable Bartees Strange (if you’re curious as to who Bartees Strange is, check out our recap of Outside Lands Day 1 here), “Slam Band” takes the listener back to the 80s or 90s or even early 2000s teen movie scene. Full of excellent drums, a killer organ, and power chords on the guitar, “Slam Band” is the best of Fountains of Wayne mixed with a more modern flair.
Much like their producer’s own work, Broke Royals have excellent guitar tones here. They are bright and uplifting, and though the lyrics are not necessarily as excellent as the instrumental, they are still quite incredible as well. They discuss the potential of holding romantic feelings for an extended period of time, “playing soccer with the other dads,” and not letting things end. That guitar tone sets the stage for the song, and though the lyrics do meld the positive and the negative, the sentimental and the anti-nostalgic, the instrumental is where the song finds its footing and hooks the listener.
Everything in the instrumental starts to feel muddy and confused towards the end, much like the story being told in the lyrics. The drums start to overtake the guitars, the guitars get higher pitched in order to stand out more, and the keyboards start to stab their way further into the mix. It’s honestly impressive how organized the chaos at the end is, and I chalk that up to not only Broke Royals’ penchant for songwriting, but Bartees Strange’s incredible production work.
Which will be my last focus. The production on this is incredible. Not just the organized chaos of the ending, but also everything leading up to that. There are moments of dueling guitars panned across both channels, subtle keyboards present in the background of the whole song, and vocal mixing that rivals any of the best vocal mixing you can think of. And also: those claps at about the 52-second mark. Sublime claps.
Check out “Slam Band” below, and be sure to keep an eye out for more from Broke Royals!