The new upcoming album from the Los Angeles, CA based punk rock band, The Bronx, is everything that the band’s long-time fans have come to expect from the band. It boasts the same raw, blue-collar punk rock vibe that made the band’s previous releases over the years so popular among its fan base. There are those who might try to criticize the band for that. But as the old adage goes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” While this album boasts much the same vibe as the band’s previous records, its sound isn’t so much the same. This is a sometimes complicated topic to touch on as it’s so easy to get an album’s feel and its sound mixed up. In talking about the album’s sound, the simplest explanation is that thankfully from one song to the next, none of the songs sound like the band was ripping itself off. In the case of its feel/vibe, it does carry that same feel with tis energy. And that combination together will impress any long-time fan. What’s more it’s enough to bring on-board any new fan with this record, too.
Listeners will understand the similarities and dis-similarities between this album and the band’s previous releases right off the bat. The album’s opener, ‘Unholy Land’, is an energy-filled rocker. Vocalist Matt Caughthran sings in the song’s opening moments, “They got you working on the weekdays/They got you working on the weekends, too/I know you’re swallowing your paycheck/Like it’s always what you think you do…They got you riding in the spotlight/thinking everyone knows who you are/And now you’re talking like a prophet/selling money from a shooting star. It comes across lyrically as a song about someone who’s being used like a puppet to obtain someone else’s ends. That’s made a little clearer in the song’s chorus as Caughthran asks, “Are you the antichrist/or the holy ghost?” He comes across as speaking in a metaphorical sense here trying to express the mixed emotions felt by such an individual who is being used. That seeming message mixed with the song’s straight forward radio ready musical backing makes it the perfect fit for the album’s opener. It really is the purest definition of punk music in every sense.
The band keeps things moving solidly from here from one song to the next. Its combination of short songs and catchy guitar riffs (only four of the album’s eleven total tracks break the three-minute mark) listeners won’t even realize how much time has passed. That very factor is the sign of a good record. Listeners will find by the final moments of this record that they haven’t skipped through any of the album’s songs. The ability to keep listeners’ attention so expertly means that the band has done something right. And in an era that is dominated by digital downloading, that is an increasingly rare feat. Keeping that in mind, whether one prefers downloading or the physical object (this critic personally prefers the physical object) any punk purist is offered a full album of fan favorites rather than a bunch of fillers and a few hits. The album will be available in stores and online Tuesday, February 5th via ATO Records. The band will be touring in support of its new album beginning Feb. 1st at the Casbah in San Diego, CA. From there, the band will have a small handful of U.S. dates before heading overseas to the U.K. to perform throughout the month of February. More dates are possible. So fans can keep up with all the latest tour dates and news from the band online in the meantime at http://www.facebook.com/thebronx and http://www.thebronxx.com.
To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141. Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.