ATO/ White Drugs ( Release date – out now)
It has been five years since the last Bronx album. During the intervening period the band have been far from idle, touring constantly and releasing an album under their alter ego, Mariachi El Bronx. So has the wait been worth it?
As soon as the opening number ‘The Unholy Hand’ kicks in it is apparent that the band are still as angry and pissed off with the world as they were five years ago. The song is a classy piece of hardcore played with The Bronx usual keen sense of melody.
Another factor that is evident from the off and continues throughout the album is the change in vocal delivery from frontman Matt Caughthran. On previous albums Matt has tended to spit out his lyrics in a quickfire, hardcore tirade, but on this album he has toned that down for the most part and tends to sing more. I had read prior to hearing the album that his vocal confidence had been boosted by his Mariachi performances and on listening to the disc you can definitely hear the change which is all the better in my view.
The one thing though that sets The Bronx apart from other bands in their genre is their songwriting ability. The guys are capable of writing tracks that are angst ridden and carry a strong social message, but they all have hooks that will stick in your head for days. You only have to play ‘Along For The Ride’, ‘Torches’ or ‘Ribcage’ as evidence of this. Anyone familiar with the band’s Mariachi output will be well aware that the guys are capable of musicianship of the highest calibre.
I would understand though if there are a few dissenting voices from diehard fans as there is a definite softening on certain tracks on the album. The song ‘Life Less Ordinary’ is a good case in point, it features just Matt’s vocal and Joby Ford on guitar and is as close to a ballad as the band could hope to get without fans crying ‘sell out’. For me though what The Bronx have achieved on this release is to take their hardcore roots and blend them with all they have learned when touring in both their guises over the last five years to great effect.
As always The Bronx continue to develop their own sound, break down established barriers and refuse to conform to what people expect them to be. Like a fine wine the band continue to mature nicely, but they can still kick like a mule when uncorked. It will take something very special to remove this from my top spot come the end of the year lists.
Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.
In this two hour special David Randall plays a selection of the GRTR! reviewer choices for ‘Best of 2019′ and announces the results of the popular poll. First broadcast Sunday 22 December 2019.
Featured Albums w/c 20 January (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 AUTUMN’S CHILD Autumn’s Child (AOR Heaven)
12:00-13:00 THE RAGGED SAINTS Sonic Playground Revisited (AOR Heaven)
14:00-16:00 AMBERLY CHALBERG Hi-Line (indie)
Power Plays w/c 20 January (Mon-Fri)
THUNDERSTICK Go Sleep With The Enemy (Roulette Records)
BUFFALO SUMMER Everybody’s Out For No.1 (Silver Lining Music)
ANCHOR LANE Dead Run (R7 Records)
MOLLY KARLOFF She Said (indie)
H.E.A.T. Come Clean (Frontiers)
THE KENDALL COLLECTION Staring Back At Me (indie)
VOODOO RAMBLE Midnight Train (indie)
Tweets by Get Ready to ROCK!