The Bronx have on this their third full length continued with the more melodic approach to their energetic and soulful punk rock. It does sound a tad different than what I remember from their debut album. That one – also self titled (these guys don’t waste more time than necessary on album titles) – came out in 2003 and showcased a thrilling punk band that brought to mind the classic 80s bands from their home town of Los Angeles. The follow up delivered music that wasn’t necessarily mellower but definitely more rock in its approach. Now that has been taken further and today The Bronx show that they excel in bringing forth some truly swaggering rock 'n' roll.
It’s still punk in tone and in the energy that shines through, but the influences from classic rock and a smidgen of blues gives more edge to the song writing. The opening trio of songs are as good as anything I’ve heard recently and some of the riffage sound like a speeded up version of AC/DC. They’re gutsy and visceral and immediately raise the pulse which is what a good rock record always should do.
Opener “Knifeman” starts of slow in pace but rich in groove and its staccato riffing and thumping rhythm combine into a whole that will undeniably be a live favourite in the future. With the following songs, and especially “Inveigh” and “Past lives” you are struck with how anthemic these songs are. This is not meant in a cheesy singalong way but merely to illustrate how they instantly stick in your mind. This is not an easy thing to do when trying to maintain a level of aggression at the same time but The Bronx manage it, seemingly without much effort.
Some kudos also has to be given to the singer Matt D. He has a great voice for this kind of raw style of music. Raspy but still soulful, it makes you think that the songs would not have worked as well with somebody else at the helm.
This is one of those records that appeals to our most impulsive emotions; Every time I listen to it I am overcome with the urge to jump around with a beer in hand and scream the lyrics. The Bronx (III) is a record that is more; more rock, more melody, more blues and energy, more of everything. Just the way I like it.
This is for those of us who sorely miss New Bomb Turks.