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The Bronx - The Bronx IV (Cover Artwork)

The Bronx

The Bronx: The Bronx IVThe Bronx IV (2013)
ATO / White Drugs

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


Contributed by: BryneBryne
(others by this writer | submit your own)

It's been five years since the Bronx have released a non-mariachi record, and while plenty of fans have come to prefer the band's surprisingly well-composed, faithful mariachi songs, there's another sect of listeners longing to replicate that feeling some ten years ago when the fury of "Heart Attack.
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It's been five years since the Bronx have released a non-mariachi record, and while plenty of fans have come to prefer the band's surprisingly well-composed, faithful mariachi songs, there's another sect of listeners longing to replicate that feeling some ten years ago when the fury of "Heart Attack American" first knocked them on their collective asses. The Bronx IV never really reaches those kinds of heights–and really, nothing in their discography has since then–but it still rocks pretty hard.

The band have evolved into a rock powerhouse over the years, whether fans wanted it or not: Their newer songs put melody at the forefront as opposed to sheer ferocity, melding Matt Caughthran's rough-but-mostly-clean vocals with enormous riffs, driving tempos and anthemic choruses. "Along For The Ride," "Youth Wasted" and "Too Many Devils" are good examples of this, and three of the best songs the Bronx have written in years; the latter in particular really ups the intensity through two-pronged, distorted guitars and massively bouncy drums.

Curveballs on the second half of IV include the excellent "Torches," which utilizes the quiet-loud dynamic nicely, showcasing the Bronx's ability to merge quieter melody in the verses and louder, more rambunctious melody in the choruses. It also includes the middling "Life Less Ordinary" as the penultimate track, in which the band ditch drums, loud guitars and well, everything that make the Bronx the Bronx in favor of a more minimalistic sound. While it's hard to fault the band for trying to take their sound somewhere new for a few minutes, it just isn't nasty or realized enough. It's surrounded by enough quality sound, though–the frantic "Ribcage," the punishingly heavy "Valley Heat"–that this slight misstep is quickly forgotten.

With all the bands that have tried to match the punk rock energy and classic rock swagger of the Bronx since they've been gone, it's wonderful that they've temporarily put el trajes mariachi back in the closet to rock with us for a spell. IV is a worthy return that shows the Bronx still have those chops.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
gnarleydudes80 (February 10, 2013)

Actually shit, you might be right, there is a new Off With Their Heads coming soon. Negate that last comment!

mrpistachio (February 9, 2013)

Telegraph rocks:

'Absolutely HATE'?!

I think you need some anger management.

telegraphrocks (February 8, 2013)

"For me this will be the best album of 2013, I can't see anything topping this."

I absolutely HATE comments like this. It's February... you (and I) have no clue what the remaining 10.75 months will bring.
Just say "Best of the year, so far", and I can't argue.

BrainTrust (February 8, 2013)

I really like this.

tenwestchaser (February 8, 2013)

Blatz, totally agree. III didn't seem to have very much of the memorable hook they usually have. Can't remember where, but I recall Matt even mentioning in an interview that, essentially, the band wasn't even very happy with it. Maybe that's partly why they reveled in the Mariachi for so long. Luckily they are back with a vengeance here and I couldn't be happier.

puddboy (February 8, 2013)

Grr, why isn't this album on Rhpasody

Dante3000 (February 8, 2013)

Really where I hoped they would go with III. A great great record.

Sliced-T (February 8, 2013)

'Tis a fine addition to The Bronx catalogue, indeed.

Gnarleydudes80 (February 8, 2013)

For me this will be the best album of 2013, I can't see anything topping this.

blatz_me (February 8, 2013)

I absolutely love this album. With the exception of a couple tracks, III never really got me. Now IV on the other hand...I've listened to it several times through. I have enjoyed it more and more each time. Great snow shoveling music.

Also, "Torches" fucking rules.

mrpistachio (February 8, 2013)

First Bronx record I've enjoyed. And I enjoy it a lot.

rabbit (February 8, 2013)

i don't get it. i couldn't stand this album. i listened to it three times back to back to try and get the hang of it and it just sucked to me. listened to it since and still agree. everything sounds like rejects from a tony hawks pro skater soundtrack. it all sounds really, really uninspired to my ears.

FRANKTHEP (February 8, 2013)

This is the first Bronx album I ever listend to and I loved it. Totally different than I thought they were going to sound.

austinatx (February 8, 2013)

I FUCKING LOVE THIS ALBUM. Oh, how it rips.

bootsmcgee (February 8, 2013)

Great great album. Perfect blend of grit, groove and in your face rock. Lets face it people, nothig will ever come close to the Bronx I, that shit rips far too hard. II has some extremely memorable songs and some of tr best of the Bronx (shitty future, for one), III started the trend of groovy hardcore punk rock with singalong choruses (i.e. pleasure seekers - the catchiest Bronx song to date), and IV continues on with the trend started by III.

delicious tunes from a delicious band.

pdxtoph (February 8, 2013)

This album fucking rules.

tenwestchaser (February 8, 2013)

Great review. This album excited me, right out the gate, in a way that III never did. Too Many Devils is one of the best songs they've ever written. The only thing I disagree with here is the part about the first album rocking hardest. I stand by II as not only their best but one of my all time favorite albums.

MN_DrNick (February 8, 2013)

Shit rips.

SadAstronaut (February 7, 2013)

Love this album. Mariachi stuff was cool, but it's great to hear them melting faces again.

renaldo69 (February 7, 2013)

dug it

telegraphrocks (February 7, 2013)

Good album.

hayman (February 7, 2013)

This will easily be one of my AOTY. Top stuff.

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