THE BRoNX

Metal Hammer (UK) - - Albums - STEPHEN HILL

COOK­ING VINYL/ATO

West coast punk rock­ers get their at­tack back on track

while aNy­oNe who

found 2013’s fourth Bronx al­bum dis­ap­point­ing could be ac­cused of be­ing overly stern in their mark­ing, it’s un­de­ni­able that it was the least im­pres­sive mem­ber of a discog­ra­phy that had failed to put a foot wrong up un­til that point. luck­ily for us, those sky-high stan­dards are met once again on their fifth full-length. If the pre­vi­ous record suf­fered a lit­tle from a slightly cleaner pro­duc­tion, some­thing that doesn’t suit The Bronx’s high-oc­tane mu­si­cal speed­ball of chaos and en­ergy, then the opening rasp of Joby J Ford and Ken Horne’s gui­tars belch­ing from the speak­ers on Night Drop At The Glue Fac­tory is a state­ment to show that they same mis­takes won’t be hap­pen­ing again. The sleazy gut­ter punk of sec­ond track Stranger Dan­ger is even bet­ter, with Matt Caugh­thran scream­ing about the Sum­mer of Sam over the filth­i­est Stooges im­per­son­ation you’ll hear this year. But don’t pi­geon­hole The Bronx as just a shit-kick­ing gang of punk rock repro­bates – there is far more to V than just 0-60 reckless aban­don. The wah-wah power pop of Two Birds through to the an­themic alt-rock of Chord­less Kids show just how ac­com­plished and var­ied a group of mu­si­cians The Bronx can be. Ul­ti­mately, though, they’re at their very best when they are chan­nelling the spirit of the early punk nihilism of Black Flag and the rest of their 80s hard­core brethren, and songs like the aptly named Sore Throat is 183 sec­onds that per­fectly en­cap­su­lates the ap­peal and longevity of this band. It’s one of life’s great mysteries why this band aren’t one of the big­gest names in the world of punk rock, and af­ter five records with hardly a dip in qual­ity in 15 years to­gether, it looks doubt­ful whether it will ever hap­pen for The Bronx at this point in their ca­reer. Re­gard­less, this is yet an­other stel­lar record from one of mod­ern punk rock’s truly great out­fits, and if you’d slept on them be­fore then V should be the mo­ment where you wake up and give them their well-de­served dues.

FOR FANS OF: BLACK FLAG, THE STOOGES, GALLOWS

The Bronx: back on (f)ire

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