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The Bronx - The Bronx (2006) (Cover Artwork)

The Bronx

The Bronx: The Bronx (2006)The Bronx (2006) (2006)
White Drugs

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


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

I imagine other bands must harbor a good deal of jealousy towards the Bronx. This is the second time now that the band has shown the audacity to skip the tedious career trajectory that most of their cohort endure. For the second time they've arrived at a fascinating, perilous and most importantly ac.
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I imagine other bands must harbor a good deal of jealousy towards the Bronx. This is the second time now that the band has shown the audacity to skip the tedious career trajectory that most of their cohort endure. For the second time they've arrived at a fascinating, perilous and most importantly accomplished place well before their due.

If you can remember the murky dark ages that were 2002, then you'll recall that the Bronx came out of nowhere. This publication's first mention of them went so far as to call them a "mystery." Here was some upshot Californian act that emerged from nowhere and had every online rumor site foaming at the mouth to figure out just who they were. I remember early claims that they were actually a secret John Reis side project. How else had did some no-name act end up playing their first handful of shows with Social Distortion, Rocket from the Crypt and the Supersuckers? Of course, the reality was far less interesting (Vagrant Records art department?) but by the time the interviews came rolling in the mystique had done its job.

The Bronx craftily avoided the obscure doldrums in which most young bands wallow, then had the gall to pull a label move we crucify other bands for. Their White Drugs imprint made their actual backing a mere abstraction, but it felt more like an artistic choice then an act of deception. Their stay at Ferrett was merely a formality on their rise to the majors at Island, and yet the Bronx avoided the wrath of an easily wounded punk scene. There was simply something too surreal and fast about their career to make the old indie abandonment speech. Whatever rails guide typical bands the Bronx had long since jumped.

Then the Bronx more or less disappeared. There was far too much time in the wilderness before this followup, and of course the resulting work throws a bit of a curve ball. Make no mistake there are some genuine midtempo ballads here, nothing ironic or insincere about them. Yet they don't feel like token radio singles -- the songs are too good and the production too genuine. Again, if any other band followed up "Heart Attack American" with material like "Dirty Leaves" or the poppy "White Guilt," we'd have their heads on a critical pike -- but this is the Bronx, and I'll be damned if I can explain it, but they pull it off.

Of course we'll stop and ponder those low gear moments because they're outside the box, but the band's far from abandoning its core: raw-throated punk rock in the vein of Drive Like Jehu and Black Flag. The Bronx at their best come off fast and well-rooted like the New Bomb Turks, yet share in a bit of the Nerve Agents' dark, reckless energy. The blistering 52-second "Small Stone" gives way to "Shitty Future" and "History's Stranglers" -- both showing the band sounding far more confident this time out. Of course when Matt Caughthran's shrieking the coolest chorus of the year ("I've got the hands of history's stranglers") it doesn't hurt. Compared with their first, this record's more dynamic throughout and lays off the throttle from time to time. That's always a risky move for a band built on such a tightly wound, angry foundation, but the Bronx swings and swaggers when they should so it works.

Like they skipped their formative years, it sounds like the Bronx has skipped writing that safe sophomore record. The Bronx II, or whatever we're calling it, is confident, well formed and diverse. It really does play like a third album.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
The Bronx - The Bronx (2003)The Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!Refused - The Shape of Punk to ComeNOFX - The DeclineDescendents - Milo Goes To CollegeJawbreaker - 24 Hour Revenge TherapyThe Clash - London CallingRise Against - Revolutions Per MinuteThe Loved Ones - Keep Your HeartJawbreaker - Dear You

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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.
NoSpace (April 3, 2008)

really didn't get the hype about this record, i was pretty disappointed with it. ive been told to check out the first one though, so i might give it a listen.

shitty future is awesome though.

darwingivingin (March 27, 2007)

one of the best releases of last year

elguapo (August 18, 2006)

i heard the shit outta this!

Anonymous (August 8, 2006)

Great cd

Anonymous (August 5, 2006)

This album is dangerous because songs like Mouth Money and Three Dead Sisters make me break everything. I might have to sue this band for being too fucking good.

Anonymous (August 4, 2006)

5 stars baby.Oh yeah

Cos (August 1, 2006)

Enough bitching about the review. Is Bad Religion pretentious? Hell no. Try intelligent. Grow up.

--Cos

dazed (July 31, 2006)

I didn't like this very much when I first got it but it really started sticking in my head. I generally skip "Dirty Leaves", though, it's not bad so much as I don't listen to the Bronx for ballads plus the next song is awesome.

Anonymous (July 31, 2006)

"The Bronx craftily avoided the obscure doldrums in which most young bands wallow, then had the gall to pull a label move we crucify other bands for. Their White Drugs imprint made their actual backing a mere abstraction, but it felt more like an artistic choice then an act of deception."

It's not the big words themselves that sound pretentious. Hell, my vocabulary isn't small. Just read the sentence. If you don't get what I'm trying to convey, forget it.

Anonymous (July 31, 2006)

How the hell was this review pretentious? I thought it was really well-written.

And this album is great, although I'm not sure I like it as much as their first one.

Anonymous (July 31, 2006)

YOU MOTHER FUCKER I WANT YOUR BLOOOOOOOOOD!

good shit

Scruffy (July 30, 2006)

What words exactly come off as pretentious or trying to hard? I love when idiots with small vocabularies don't understand that those of us who know the English language use multisyllabic words naturally. It's instinct, and it sounds more poetic. It isn't to impress people.

/Though, I do have to ask, Adam: Did you mean to use the word "upstart" in the second paragraph when you say "upshot"?

the_other_scott (July 30, 2006)

will

you liked the last record yeah?

give this a few more shots, definetly a grower, and definetly not dumbed down for the masses. if anything its got a lot more twists and turns than the last one did.

Anonymous (July 30, 2006)

Hey, good review, Adam.

Too bad I think this record sucks.

But hey, nothing wrong with not dumbing yourself down for the sake of the masses. Nothing pretentious about this review.

-WilliamMarinovic

Anonymous (July 29, 2006)

i think we could all learn from this chorus from en vogue:

"free your mind, and the rest will follow"

hmm. truer words were never spoken, ladies.

wyzo

adam (July 29, 2006)

I really wasn't trying to be grandiloquent (what a word THAT is!) so I'm sorry if it came off that way.

If you folks would like to provide me with a list of banned words I'll gladly abide. Anything to make the people happy. I'm also open to banned ideas and opinions, so throw those out too.

Bend me shape me.

-adam

the_other_scott (July 29, 2006)

dude below. Adam runs this site. he's been writing reviews for a long time. eventually, like with a band, you use bigger words (or get better at your instruments) and things start to change. i thought it wasn't a great review just because it was more of a history lesson than a review of teh record, but i still thought it was written well.

Anonymous (July 29, 2006)

p.s. love the CD.

Anonymous (July 29, 2006)

~ I'm the guy who made the "pretentious" comment.

Anyway, yeah, the review isn't up to par with say, Anchor's material. A lot of the words used are laughable, and it's not very accessible. If I read into it I can assume what most of its about, but I think it's poorly written, s'all. I probably shouldn't have used the word pretentious, but (hypocrisy inc.) grandiloquence annoys me.

I also hate the Da Vinci Code.

I think steve bones wrote a review about a band that galloped a long time ago, and he described them as galloping over and over again. This review reminds me of how he used that word. The guy sounds like he's galloping while he writes it, during the American Revolution or some shit.

Don't get me wrong, I'm really overdoing it here. I realize that no matter how I refute I'm going to get ripped on because you guys are probably long-term friends with Adam. His revew isn't that bad. It's just corny.

jab (July 29, 2006)

I can't stop listening to this cd. It is amazing. Saw them live,pure energy. #1 cd for me. Great band.

Not-To-Regret (July 29, 2006)

Just picked this up based on the amount of positive reviews their first record got. This review didn't describe their sound very well. But man this record kicks ass, just the shot of real punk music I needed to hear.

On another tangent:
Anyone got the Pinky and The Brain DVD?

Anonymous (July 29, 2006)

I thought this was a really well-written review

Anonymous (July 29, 2006)

Score for the review.

ConsequentialBanditry (July 29, 2006)

How dare anyone call this review pretentious. This is one of the best written reviews I've ever seen on this site. It did everything a journalist is required to do; it put the news of the album into a context that provides meaning.

kingofsuck (July 29, 2006)

Go back to the Da Vinci Code now

hahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahaha

nocigar (July 29, 2006)

great,

Anonymous (July 29, 2006)

I don't care what anyone says White guilt is a great song. Nothing more entertaining then a hooker who does alot of cocaine, and the History's Stranglers video is f'n halarious. Can't stop listening to this album.

Anonymous (July 29, 2006)

I really wanted to like this band, but their music seems really generic to me.

Archangel (July 29, 2006)

"True or false? This guy's review is too pretentious to read, no offense. I'm not a big Tolstoy reader on my spare time."

False. Go back to the Da Vinci Code now.

Anonymous (July 28, 2006)

Good songs, but come on.."White Guilt" had Island Records written alll over it.

jamespastepunk (July 28, 2006)

True or false? This guy's review is too pretentious to read, no offense. I'm not a big Tolstoy reader on my spare time.

Who'se review are you speaking about? Adam's review isn't remotely pretentious.

Kursk (July 28, 2006)

So after reading all of the shit that has been said on this review(speaking of which that wasn't really a review) and remembering that the album did come out last week I bought it today to see what the fuss about it was. At first, yes, this CD seemed to lack a lot of the energy and aggresiveness of their first full length which I adored other than "Strobe Life" which i foud to be quite boring as opposed to the rest of the album. But whoever said this album has more grrove to it is correct, this one flows so much better and the equivalents to the first album's "Strobe Life" like "Dirty Leaves" and "Safe Passage" are wonderful mellow songs, while all of the songs that stayed "punk" are improvements in their own ways. Great album, this will definitely be somewhere on my end of the year list.

kingofsuck (July 28, 2006)

A lot of people have told me it's watered down from the first album. True or false?

I wouldn't say it's watered down at all. It's just kind of got this groove to it now. Just check it out.

Anonymous (July 28, 2006)

Haven't heard it completely yet, but the iTunes clips don't do it any justice. A lot of people have told me it's watered down from the first album.

True or false? This guy's review is too pretentious to read, no offense. I'm not a big Tolstoy reader on my spare time.

Anonymous (July 28, 2006)

I fucking hate nu music...but this is the BEST album to come out in years, well, since the last Bronx album. 5 stars!

bombsaway (July 28, 2006)

The Bronx is by far, one of the best punk rock band out now. They consider them self rock n roll, which I see more actual. Their newest album does lack the energy of the first but, that's what's cool about them, that they do have alot of variation. They also don't sound like every other band out there. It is only there 2 full length, so it's early for them. Hopfully they keep on bring the gritty sounds, fast riffs, and strong lyrics.

Anonymous (July 28, 2006)

Yeah, Keith Morris sang on one of the tour 7' they put out too.

kirbypuckett (July 28, 2006)

@ nickofdeath,

Who would you prefer?

Rise Against weren't very convincing as Black Flag in the Lords of Dogtown movie (or was that changed, I can't remember).

the_other_scott (July 28, 2006)

I can't believe they're playing Black Flag in the "Germs" movie

they share a practice space with the circle jerks, which makes me think that keith morris gives them some sort of approval.

kingofsuck (July 28, 2006)

I think this will end up being one of my top 5 of the year.

nickofdeath (July 28, 2006)

I could appreciate it if the Bronx (not from the Bronx mind you) took the time to think of something original (ie not ripping off John Reis' balls). Look at the cover, loosely based on the Swami logo. And I don't think I should start with the music. And I can't believe they're playing Black Flag in the "Germs" movie.

Anonymous (July 28, 2006)

I keep hearing how good these guys are live, they must of been hung over or something when I saw the in Boston a few years back cuz they sucked. Anyways, first album was pretty rockn, new ones slow. They are way too young to have already chopped their balls off. Oh well, they never lived up to the hype anyway.

Anonymous (July 28, 2006)

They are about as interesting as Urkel's take on Malcolm X.

shredsavage (July 28, 2006)

Great record. Great band.

ChokingVictim (July 28, 2006)

I don't see what is so fucking great about these guys. Yes, it's good, but it's not THAT good.

nocigar (July 28, 2006)

lacks the energy of the first one, but makes up for it in the stellar grooves and songwriting. top 5 of the year for sure. take that larry arms

Take what? Larry Arms don't have to take shit, because their album has been on the top 5 list for sometime now, and will most likely stay that way.......but yeah, this album is great.

baseball (July 28, 2006)

i haven't 'gotten' it yet

but i really haven't given any kind of fair listen because i've been consumed with World/Inferno Friendship Society, Dead to Me, and Rx Bandits for some time now

skolarx (July 28, 2006)

nothing about this album really grabbed me but then neither did the last album. these guys are fun live and the bats ep was incredible but i can't get into either full length for some reason

Anonymous (July 28, 2006)

Dude, I like this album, but Oh Calcutta! totally owns it.

the_other_scott (July 28, 2006)

lacks the energy of the first one, but makes up for it in the stellar grooves and songwriting. top 5 of the year for sure. take that larry arms.

kirbypuckett (July 28, 2006)

I agree w/ Scott.

...but what is that one dude talking about w/ the 12year olds?

People try so hard to be funny.

- Kirby

Anonymous (July 28, 2006)

i can hear a little bit of QOTSA in this cd. it's fucking awesome.

to the guy who thought he didn't get into the first cuz all the songs sounded the same, this one is more unique.

radioXwaves (July 28, 2006)

This record isnt bad... but it just doesnt keep my attention like the first self-title did. I can only get about 5 songs into it before I start wondering "What other CDs do I have with me right now?"

nocternal (July 28, 2006)

Last album rocked. This album is different yet still f'n rocks. Go see them live, they are sick!

manifesto (July 28, 2006)

I initially was disapointed by this record when I listened to it through AOL. I thought it would be a grower. So I bought it and it really grew on me, I can't stop listening to it. It has great production and very memorable tunes.

Anonymous (July 28, 2006)

This album replaces the excitement of their first album with sheer boredumb. shitty future and history stranglers are the only tracks worthy of their previous efforts. the rest is this shitty wimp-out altcountrypunk that makes me think his voice is shot to hell. i wanted the balls rock of all their other stuff and instead i got this curve ball from the community softball league.

Dante3000 (July 28, 2006)

I like the album a lot...But let's be honest, am I the only one who cringes when I hear the opening to "White Guilt".
Any song that starts with "LA lady" I just can't get behind.
-Dante

Anonymous (July 28, 2006)

i still think the debut tops this due to the sheer balls out rockers. but this has grown on me. has some solid tunes. and yeah seeing them play new shit live really helped too. white guilt was wicked live.

gladimnotemo (July 28, 2006)

I remember trying to lsiten to this band's 1st album after it came out, and not being able to get into it at all. All the songs sounded exactly the same.

Anonymous (July 28, 2006)

oh these guys slay live, Matt went into the pit with a broken foot, if that isn't punx I don't know what is.

- APK

charlesshaw (July 28, 2006)

"sorry, no sale, this band is Black Flag for 12 year olds

-Jamin"

---are you kidding me, bronx are basically a very fast r n r band, with a singer who likes to scream a bit instead of sing...black flag hardly had any r n r influence

mikeinflames (July 28, 2006)

don't get the hype behind these guys at all

going to see them open for converge in september
hopefully they're better live than recorded

Anonymous (July 28, 2006)

this stuff kicked ass I'm waiting to get it on vinyl

- APK

TenderBransonX (July 28, 2006)

I didn't care for it after the first listen. I was just shocked but since then it has snuck up on me. A friend of mine called the first album Cock Punk. If thats true then this one is more Cock Pop.

Crap. I guess I like the cock.

Anonymous (July 28, 2006)

listen to this a few times over. it ends up tattooed on your brain.
-TOBB

pasha (July 28, 2006)

love dis shit.

gregs (July 28, 2006)

Great album

Badger_Legion (July 28, 2006)

Well, my face is ugly... that's true. And my face is connected to my hands... and my hands are currently touching the cover... so by the transitive property the cover is also ugly. So there.

I knew I took those algebra classes for a reason.

swingline (July 28, 2006)

the cover is awesome. YOU'RE ugly.

almostpunkenough (July 28, 2006)

dev

that's what i was thinking but i couldn't quite put my finger on it.

really solid album. and i still hate their name.

kvzuky (July 28, 2006)

Awesome band
Awesome Album

Anonymous (July 28, 2006)

I thought Black Flag were for 12 year olds.

theOneTrueBill (July 28, 2006)

So, who has the LP bonus tracks in MP3 form and wants to send them to me?

Anonymous (July 28, 2006)

it took me a few listens to really get it, but i now proclaim this the best record of 2006.

also, i saw them at the bowery ballroom a few weeks ago, the singer had a broken foot and was still going crazy.

Anonymous (July 28, 2006)

sorry, no sale, this band is Black Flag for 12 year olds

-Jamin

Badger_Legion (July 28, 2006)

That cover is fucking ugly.

Cos (July 28, 2006)

Just picked this up today, and so far I only dig "History's Stranglers" and "Shitty Future"--the two songs I got for free before the album came out. I'll give it some time and go see 'em live (Fuck Yeah! Fest baby!!!) and hopefully this will get better

--Cos

maverick (July 28, 2006)

I wasn't really into this record until I saw them with Lifetime and heard the new shit played live. After I saw them, I just got it, you know? Great record.

-Scott

Anonymous (July 28, 2006)

I like this album, but it still doesn't come close to their first one, in my opinion.

It has some sweet jams, but the best tracks on their first record destroy the best tracks on this record.

waytansea (July 28, 2006)

the albums pretty good, but its a little weird if you ask me though

TheYoungInfluential (July 28, 2006)

I liked this album better than their first for some reason. And the comparison to Death From Above 1979 by the guy below me sounds strangely correct.

Anonymous (July 28, 2006)

this review was pretty bad. spend more time reviewing the record next time, genious.

dev (July 28, 2006)

I thought a lot of the songs on this album sounded like Death From Above 1979 only with a full band...

ozmanx (July 28, 2006)

Can't wait till their next Self-Titled record.

Bronx III baby!

Anonymous (July 28, 2006)

Yeah, but where the FUCK is the Bronx review?! FUCK!!! Sexually frustrated!!!!

chickswithdicks (July 28, 2006)

wasn't a big fan of the previous album, but this is getting better.

Anonymous (July 28, 2006)

Awesome record.

tylerdurden8136 (July 28, 2006)

Sweet, no more complaining.

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