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Album Review: V by The Bronx

Punk band The Bronx release their fifth album V on 22nd September via Cooking Vinyl / ATO Records. The Los Angeles-based quintet — singer Caughthran,  guitarist Joby J. Ford, guitarist Ken Horne, bassist Brad Magers and drummer David Hidalgo Jr. (replacing Jorma Vik, who departed the band in 2016) – has lost none of its pugnacity.  V is hard-hitting, confrontational and more relevant than ever.

“It has the angst and social commentary that has characterized The Bronx from the beginning,” says guitarist Joby J. Ford, “only now the angst is aimed at more than just superficial things and the social commentary is directed at more than just people who like different music than us.”

From opener ‘Night Drop at the Glue Factory’ through to closer ‘Kingsize’ the album broils with a hardcore punk energy laced with fervent infectiousness. As such it comes out sounding enthralling and exciting in equal measure. The fuzzy bass intro of ‘Stranger Danger’ gives way to riotous punk before ‘Side Effects’ shines bright as one of the best tracks that The Bronx have committed to record.

It sets the tone for the rest of the album, critical of the outside world and relatable for everyone, it’s as if The Bronx have grown up and feel it’s time to take on the world. The sound of The Bronx has grown too, while it still may have the distinctive Bronx feel there’s something a little more infectious and immediate about V. Where previous efforts may have taken a couple of listens to digest and get on board with; V takes a more inclusive route, you don’t have to be a punk fan to like V. Both ‘Fill The Tanks’ and ‘Channel Islands’ take a straighter hard rock approach with the latter having some impressively ballsy riffs.

Lead single ‘Sore Throat’ sees The Bronx at their unruly best, while it may be a touch heavier and punkier than the general feel of the album it acts a good indicator of how far the band have come. Both ‘Past Away’ and ‘Cordless Kids’ are excellent tracks before ‘Broken Arrow’ swaggers in punk energy. Closer ‘Kingsize’ stands out as one of the most immediate and commanding tracks on the album.

A solid and exciting album that showcases The Bronx at their most accessible.

AD Rating 7/10

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