The Bronx – ‘V’

By Liam Knowles

The hardest part of these reviews is usually figuring out how to introduce the band in the first paragraph, trying desperately not to resort to clichés and meaningless platitudes. Some bands, however, make this part easy. The Bronx are back, people. Stop what you’re doing and listen immediately.

‘Night Drop At The Glue Factory’ kicks off proceedings at 100mph, Matt Caughthran’s distinctive rasp reassuringly blaring over the filthy guitars and relentless rhythm section. Most bands would suffer after losing a founding member, but new drummer David Hidalgo Jr. fills Jorma Vik’s sizeable shoes with aplomb. By the time this three minute track is over it’s obvious that The Bronx haven’t lost a single drop of venom in the four years between ‘IV’ and ‘V’. If anything, this album is more confrontational than its predecessor. Visceral tracks like ‘Fill The Tanks’ and lead single ‘Sore Throat’ are as in your face as anything in the back catalogue, and will surely lead to stage dives and singalongs galore when translated into a live setting.

That’s not to say that The Bronx don’t know when to peel things back; they flex their more melodic muscles extremely well on ‘Channel Islands’ which bounces along playfully over one of the most infectious riffs of the band’s career. There’s also ‘Two Birds’, a track so positively oozing with swagger even the Green Day-esque backing vocals don’t cramp its style. It’s clear at this point that despite undeniably having a defined sound, The Bronx can turn their hand to anything within their limits and effortlessly make it work.

There’s not a lot of criticism to be levelled at ‘V’. Yes, it sounds pretty much exactly how you’d expect a Bronx album to sound, but yet again they’ve maintained a level of consistent excellence that most bands can only dream of keeping up for two albums, never mind five. The album was recorded by Rob Schnapf, whose previous credits include Fidlar, Elliot Smith and Beck, and the grimy, garage rock-like production lends itself well to the raw energy and vitriol poured out over these eleven tracks.

There’s not much else that needs to be said, really. It’s The Bronx. If you don’t already know who they are then go immediately to their 2003 debut and enjoy the manic ride back to this point. If you’re already a fan then this album will only further cement that fact.

‘V’ is out Friday 22nd September

LIAM KNOWLES

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