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The Bronx - 'V' Album Review


1. Night Drop At The Glue Factory

2. Stranger Danger

3. Side Effects

4. Fill The Tanks

5. Channel Islands

6. Two Birds

7. Sore Throat

8. Past Away

9. Cordless Kids

10. Broken Arrow

11. Kingsize

The Bronx have been around now for some fifteen years. Their take on American Hardcore has seen them gain multitudes of fans and critics plaudits. They've even found time to release albums and tour as Mariachi El Bronx, their Mexican music influenced side project.

'V' is their fifth album under The Bronx banner (their eighth if you include their MEB releases). With them you get pretty straightforward American Hardcore with a healthy dollop of Punk. But they've also got a pretty decent ear for melody too. Rather than the usual action of pummeling the listener into submission, The Bronx will try to hook in you with a catchy chorus or a guitar lick that will make you nod your head.

Album opener 'Night Drop At The Glue Factory is immediately in your face as soon as you press play. At just over three minutes, it's a relentless ball of energy and spite. The tempo is eased up a little with 'Stranger Danger', battered tom tom patterns pushing the song without picking up the pace too much, reminding me of a punkier Hellacopters.

'Side Effects' sees singer Matt Caughthran changing his vocal style a bit. The verses feel really relatively sedate for the band before the band kick into the chorus the drives the song home perfectly. Opening with a scratchy lone guitar, 'Fill The Tanks swiftly reverts to a more familiar catchy riff with staccato vocals spat over the top.

Another change of tone comes 'Channel Islands'. Again, there's a catchy tune and plenty of melody that nods towards Hanoi Rocks to me. The song certainly has potential to break the mainstream for the band.

'Two Birds' features a sleazy wah-wah guitar that nails the bands influences further than just Hardcore. 'Sore Throat' sees a return to a more familiar punishing sound to previous tracks.

Their sleazy, slightly more commercial face appears again on 'Past Away'. A spiralling riff dances it's way all through the song. It's almost like the band are confused as to which overall direction to follow, choosing to go with whatever serves the song the best. 'Cordless Kids' has a cool groove to it before we kick back into hyperdrive with 'Broken Arrow'.

'Kingsize' closes the album with the most twisting and turning riff of the album. Again, it's more gentler pace allows more melody to shine through, allowing the band to come across as a lot more versatile than most people would probably give them credit for.

I must admit that this is the first real time I've really heard The Bronx. The album is solid and bears repeated listens, but it hasn't grabbed me as much as their mariachi infused alter ego.

Review - Scott Hamilton

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