This band could be your life...
Paul Reed

12:24 1st December 2008

Four albums along the line (all of them called ‘The Bronx’) and we should really know what to expect from these LA Hardcore stalwarts. Loud and ruthless yet eloquent rage? Yes. The greatest sense of stripped down post-hardcore dynamics since Fugazi? Indeed. Amazing riffs coupled with a fearless articulacy? Absolutely.

So, with all of this smart arse academic probability why is every hair on the back of your neck standing up like it’s the first time you’ve heard an amplified electric guitar 10 seconds into the first song?

That The Bronx recently appeared in the film What We Do Is Secret as Black Flag, performing "Police Story" is as perfect an illustration as you’re going to get concerning their importance in vital punk rock torch bearing in 2008. Rollins and Ginn undoubtedly left a legacy approximately the size of the grand canyon to fulfill but if anyone can step up to the mantle right now, it is The Bronx.

The difference is that alongside embodying the energy, work ethic, inseparable lifestyle elements and immense riffage of their DIY predecessors they also have massive choruses. It is punk rock you can dance to, a sermon and a party all at the same time. If you go to sleep dreaming of a band that fuse the intensity of the Jesus Lizard with the celebratory elements of AC DC then it is time to wake up and smell The Bronx.     

Over 11 tracks and little over half an hour, they demonstrate this with no small amount of talent on their fourth LP. The first words are “I want to be original” which is such a refreshing change from “Went out last night, looked at a girl, had fight in kebab shop” that I’ve already decided that The Bronx may well be the second coming of Christ. They are certainly pissed off enough.

If standout track ‘Past lives’ doesn’t have enough energy to take on financial meltdown, global warming, terrorism and knife crime all at once then I don’t know what has. Alongside The Hold Steady, they should be appointed as Barack Obama’s house band as this is a group who offer genuine hope in bleak times. Elsewhere, ‘Six Days a week’ and ‘Minutes in night’ offer tight, muscular jams and enough alternative life advice to slay a million satanic Jeremy Kyle style daytime TV shows.    

The only criticism that could be directed at this record is that, sonically speaking it doesn’t exactly reinvent the wheel. Or indeed the sound that The Bronx have made since their inception. It is more a re-affirmation of what they are, which is an exhilarating and vital punk rock band. Presumably all experimentation was saved for ‘El Bronx’, the mariachi album that they recorded simultaneously to this one, due to be released next year.    
Still this doesn’t change the fact that we currently need some authentic, intelligent and life changing punk rock bands like we need air to breathe and The Bronx are the very finest. In that context, this band could be your life.

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