For Fans Of
It’s been five long years since The Bronx’s last studio album, with the exception of the two records they released as Mariachi El Bronx. While their foray into mariachi music was a generally well-received departure, anticipation has built for the band to return to their heavier roots. Now, in 2013 – older and wiser, but still teeming with aggression – The Bronx unleash IV.
Full of piercing energy, opening track ‘The Unholy Hand’ largely serves as an indicator for the record, with Matt Caughthran’s gritty vocals tearing through the heavy guitar work laid out by Joby Ford and Ken Horne.
"There was a time when the world was under our control, but that time has died," Caughthran sings in ‘Along For The Ride’, which features one of the album’s most infectious choruses. More melody driven overall than previous Bronx releases, the record’s rough edges are polished by the catchy leanings of ‘Style Over Everything’, ‘Ribcage’ and ‘Valley Heat’. IV’s most memorable moments, however, are the hard-hitting ones; the latter half of ‘Too Many Devils’, infiltrated by Caughthran’s ferocious screams above wailing guitars, is one of several high points.
Bookended by the punchy ‘Pilot Light’ and savagely powerful ‘Under the Rabbit’, the temperate nature of ‘Torches’ offers a brief moment of restraint. Penultimate track ‘Life Less Ordinary’ changes pace in a similar way; completely stripped back, the song relies on Caughthran’s anguished vocal performance to breathe life into lyrics like, "I’m not ashamed to say I’ve lost my mind; been walking backwards my whole life." Bringing a resurgence in energy, ‘Last Revelation’ closes the album as forcefully as it began.
For the most part, IV sounds just like a Bronx record should: it’s raw, aggressive, and – besides some lyrical ambiguity – straightforward. With its slight musical divergence adding character and depth rather than alienating longtime listeners, the band have achieved a happy medium between growth and familiarity.
The Bronx’s IV is captivating from start to finish, showcasing everything the band excel at. The record’s twelve tracks are powerful in their simplicity, and a decade into their musical career, The Bronx show no signs of slowing down.
1. The Unholy Hand
2. Along For The Ride
3. Style Over Everything
4. Youth Wasted
5. Too Many Devils
6. Pilot Light
8. Under The Rabbit
10. Valley Heat
11. Life Less Ordinary
12. Last Revelation