The Bronx - Bats! (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Bronx

Bats! (2003)


The Bronx seem to be every rock critic's favorite band these days, but I've been a little bit harder to sway than most. Sure the album is loud, sure the album is rough, and sure the album is dirty - but that stuff means shit if it's not good. I've been on the fence about the Bronx's full-length since I first heard it, so we'll see if this EP pushes me one way or the other.

Bats!, although released separately [and a month earlier] than the band's full-length, feels like more of a companion piece than a "teaser EP" which are all so common in the industry today. The title track kicks things off, and has an absolutely killer guitar riff and the now-signature screams of singer Matt Caughthran. It's, in technical terms, a jam and a half. Next is "You Want To See Us Burn," which reminds me of a more straightforward, punkier Hot Water Music [but strangely, not Leatherface]. It also is a jam and a half, and it comes close to approaching the coveted "double jam" mark. The EP closes out with "Private Affair," a huge departure from the band's sound. It's much more '77 based, and the vocals are - shock of shocks - actually intelligible. Why is this? Well, as I peruse the liner notes, I discover that this song is actually by an old punk band called The Saints. So that explains that.

So is this three song EP worth your money? If you liked the full-length, yes. If you didn't, then no - nothing here will win you over that hasn't already been done on the full-length. As for me, sadly I'm still stuck on the fence. These songs are good and all, but I'm still stuck with my pop music portion of my brain saying "there's no hooks!" That may very well be the case, but there is no doubt in my mind that this is punk rock, the way our forefathers intended it.