Words by Carly Gibbs
If you are fan of those rabid, high energy punk rockers, The Bronx, then you would have been following the release of the first 4 tracks off their sixth studio album, ‘Bronx VI,’ which is set to be released this Friday, the 27th August. If you haven’t been following then you have undeniably been sleeping, my friends. The Los Angeles quintet have been creating heavy hitters for the best part of two decades and have a hefty back catalogue in their sequential discography. ‘Bronx VI’ is no different and offers the unrelenting energy that we have come to expect from any album that The Bronx release.
Opener White Shadow eases you into ‘Bronx VI’ like a bucket of ice tipped over your head eases you into the morning. Albeit relatively midtempo for The Bronx, it launches you into drive.
Already released into the wild, Superbloom raises the heartrate again, in more ways than one. I adore this track! Hooky chorus, immense pace and lyrics of the tumultuous nature of love. The teen punk in me is dreaming about being somebody’s ‘desert flower’. “Nobody lives, nobody dies, until she opens up her eyes”. That’s some power.
‘Watering the well’ is full of youthful bravado and a nostalgic flair that gives me heavy Van Halen Panama vibes. “I know what you’re thinking, that two wrongs can never make it right, but two wrongs, feel all right, tonight!” It’s top notch rock’n’roll and would be well at home on a pre-drinks, party night playlist that gets thrown on every Saturday before you head out to make some questionable choices that you’ll be regretting until the following Saturday.
Curb Feelers – The ‘backbone track’ as Matt puts it. This is the first track that has an accompanying video to run alongside it from this album. Filmed in the iconic LA Powerplant Motorcycles, directed by the even more iconic Estevan Oriol, that LA heritage is coursing through its veins. Together with references to the LA Times and Elvira, ‘Mistress of the Dark’ it’s like a love letter of sorts to the City of Angels. If Watering the Well sounded like Van Halen, Curb Feelers riff has got a little Black Sunshine vibe stamped on it. Rock n roll edge and with punk rock tenacity. This is pure fucking Bronx energy!
Something extra neat about ‘Bronx VI’ is that as well as the usual digital or CD medium, each of the 11 songs will be available as individual, limited-edition 7-inch singles featuring unique artwork from of artists including Estevan Oriol, Craig Stecyk, and Tim Armstrong. Covid-19 has ruined many things but the evolving ingenuity of artists during this time is not one of them!
If you need a breath after this, I don’t blame you. Peace Pipe drops the energy a little to refresh those feet that have been jackhammering the ground for the last few tracks in a toe tapping frenzy. Keeping it at that level for one more breath, High Five has a childlike charm with the old familiar ‘high five, down low, too slow’ rhyme gaining a fresh new perspective.
A Mariachi El Bronx flavour creeps in here and it’s not only because the next track is called Mexican Summer. New Lows brings new highs in pace, once again. The Bronx have nailed that driving beat that keeps propelling you forward through the album without getting fatigued or bored. The undulating scheduling of the track listing keeps it fresh, fun and frisky.
Breaking News has to be the most traditional ‘punk’ sounding tracks on the album. With a solid dose of nihilism and ‘fuck authority’, even Matt’s vocals are grubbier. “Breaking news were all fucked, everyone’s shit outta luck” and “breaking news, nobody cares, if you die”. Cheery. But, probably, pretty true. If there is someone who is going to survive the apocalypse, it’ll be someone who is a Jack of all Trades, master of none, ready to get the job done.
Last stop on this, the sixth offering from this marvellous punk rock colossus, is Participation trophy, rounding out the album with some funky swag.
The Bronx are a super reliable band who consistently put out killer records without them all being too ‘samey’. You just know that whatever they put out is going to be a banger and you can always count of them for a high-octane dose of a good time. ‘Bronx VI’ is going to stick around on my playlist for a good while yet and if you are a fan of The Bronx I am sure it’ll be on yours too. Album pre-orders are available now with the collection available digitally, on CD and with a number of vinyl variants including an orange and blue galaxy Australian webstore exclusive.
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With thanks to Deathproof PR