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Third killer album from LA punks,
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This review is from: The Bronx III (Audio CD)
How much do I love the Bronx? Answer: a lot. Why? Well, in a word: passion. They're a punk band that plays rock 'n' roll music - or maybe it's the other way round. Whatever you wanna call it, the Bronx do it with nothing less than less than 100% commitment. It's genuine, honest and direct. It's also sweaty and desperate; raucous, loud and utterly liberating. Case-in-point: the LA quintet's third eponymous album opens with a track called 'Knifeman', on which hoarse-voiced vocalist Matt Caughthran bellows the lines "I wanna be original, I wanna be surrounded by art/But everything is digital, the formula is falling apart" over a simple, stabbing riff. By the end of the song - via a couple of equally simple yet highly effective chord changes - he's screaming for you to "tear it down!" like his life depends on it. If you're anything like me, you'll be screaming along with him.
There's nothing ironic about Caughthran's lyrics - although they are infused with a healthy dose of humour in places - or indeed, the Bronx's music. But rarely does it fail to hit the mark. The key here is the honesty and - again - the passion with which they deliver it. And the fact that the band - who comprise guitarists Joby J. Ford and Ken Horne, bassist Brad Magers and drummer par excellence Jorma Vik - are great song-writers, who understand, among other things, the value of a good old-fashioned, sing-along chorus. As simple as they may seem, these songs are far from formulaic (no super-fast SoCal punk for the scenesters here) and one gets the impression that if Charles Bukowski were still alive and writing today, the Bronx would be providing the soundtrack to the beat poet's tales of nights and days spent in the bars and on the streets of Hollywood.