It’s been five long, strange years since The Bronx put out a record, yet somehow these noisy west coast bastards haven’t changed a bit. Sure there have been two stellar mariachi records under the Mariachi El Bronx moniker between proper releases, but that’s not the same. This band plays the sort of music that makes me crave cigarettes and whiskey. The end result is often a black eye or smashed glasses. Catching The Bronx destroy a venue is one the most underrated spectacles music has to offer today.
As I sit here with The Bronx (4) at a deafening level, it’s clear why their music is so much fun. It’s not hardcore enough for face bandanas and gang violence, yet it’s never going to be friendly enough to crack the top 40 charts either. Like previous efforts, there’s a sinister edge to this record balanced by a sleazy Hollywood boulevard feel. That shift hasn’t forsaken a single sentiment of what built their brand. Noticeable this time around is the attention to songwriting. There’s odd melody creeping around on songs like, “Torches” and “Life Less Ordinary”, and creep it certainly does.
There are no frills to speak of on The Bronx (4). No nonsense. Zero bullshit. They just plug in a play, their freak-flags dangling from dirty back pockets for everyone to see.