Fourth self-titled album from LA's finest punk band
LA's The Bronx are the single greatest punk band on the planet today. Bronx IV is their fourth self-titled album released on their own label White Drugs. There's not many bands that can pull off being part-time punk and part-time mariachi but their 'el' alter-ego has had a definite impact on what they produce as The Bronx and it's more evident here than in previous records.
Each album has seen the band become more mature. The first album is a screaming torrent of pure hardcore punk, the second album is darker with songs such as 'Rape Zombie' – a tale about macho men who hang around in bars waiting to prey upon young, unsuspecting girls and 'Three Dead Sisters' which fiercely laughs in the face of the fact someone has recently died. Album three is a mixture of the first two; it features slightly more melodic rock than straight up punk but it is still unrelenting in places and grossly under valued. The Bronx seem to be growing up.
This album opens with the blistering 'The Unholy Land' and doesn't let up until 'A Life Less Ordinary' (not an Ash cover for those wondering). I'm not sure how this song would fit in to a live Bronx show but they're touring over here and I'm off to see them in a couple of weeks so I'll be watching with interest about which songs make it into their set. 'Style Over Everything' is one of the more melodic tracks and is an early favourite. The band can still plumb the dark depths and do just that in 'Too Many Devils', which goes into the ever-increasing external influences which fuck with us until we crack. 'Ribcage' is classic Bronx; it was released on a 'tour only' 7" single and was backed with 'Into The Black' and was the first glimpse into the style of this fourth album.
This transparent red LP is whisper quiet in between songs, the bass is clear and Jorma Vik's drums are relentless. The vocals are crisp, mainly due to Matt's evolving singing style. There's a double-sided inner sheet – lyrics on one side and the same band pic that's been included in every online interview the band has doine for this record. It also comes with the obligatory MP3 download code slip. The matrix for side 1 reads: ATO 0167LP BC99660-01 A1 MK and ATO 0167LP BC99660-01 B1 MK for side 2. There's not much else in terms of an overall package but the price point reflects that. They're definitely not ripping off their fans, they're just churning out great record after great record.
A must buy.
Update – 22/02/2012
I've had a US copy of this arrive in the post and, as expected, there are a few subtle differences between this and the EU release. The sleeve seems a deeper red on the US copy and there's a visible difference when side by side. There's differences on the spine of the sleeve too. The US copy just has ATO0167 at the top, whereas the EU one has 870.A001.010 – ATO0167LP. The rear of the US sleeve has the barcode number on, the EU one doesn't. There's also distribution company differences too – RED Distribution on the US sleeve and PIAS Entertainment Group on the EU one.
There's also matrix differences too. The EU matrixes are above but the US matrixes are Pump it or dump it 88088218201-A ATO-0167 for side 1 and The sultan of salad 88088218201-B ATO-0167 for side 2.
- The Unholy Hand
- Along for the Ride
- Style Over Everything
- Youth Wasted
- Too Many Devils
- Pilot Light
- Under the Rabbit
- Valley Heat
- Life Less Ordinary
- Last Revelation
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