Are The Bronx “the greatest punk rock band in the world”? That’s a complicated question with no real answer, but it’s undeniable that these LA-based punks are a huge name in the game. Their latest album, the fifth eponymous release known as V, has arrived on the scene to critical acclaim; it promises a strong dose of the band’s signature hardcore style and powerful lyrics that’s a welcome remedy for anyone longing for some socially relevant tones to their music in our turbulent times.
Opening with ‘Night Drop at the Glue Factory‘, the album kicks off with a bang to say the least. It’s brave and in-your-face, being confident with its lyrics speaking of revolution. There’s a sort of clashing layer to this track, which effectively makes a sinister, dissonant atmosphere furthered by the distorted guitars.
The energy continues with ‘Stranger Danger‘, which has the same impressive guitar playing of its predecessor, as well as the confrontational lyrics and raw delivery. It’s also a little more catchy, so might be a first port of call to ease you into the album – but then again, it’s pretty punk to just take the plunge!
The latest single to be released from the album is ‘Sore Throat’, one of the album’s most powerful and punchy tracks. It’s one of the more politically charged tracks, too, but if you’re anything like us you’ll find the level of complex writing needed to make a song like this work admirable. If you can ignore your concerns of lead vocalist Matt Caughthran wearing his gritty voice out with those higher notes, you’ll find the hard-hitting lyrics of “Let your reasons go, let your conscience be / Mouth around your gun, now you’re finally free“, that can’t help but conjure up the image of a lost soul struggling for a solution to the problems the world keeps throwing at them. Another personal favourite follows this in the form of ‘Past Away’, which has both the infectious rhythms and the timeless sound of stadium rock forefathers.
This album is filled with the social commentary and ferocity that’s almost essential for a killer punk record, also offering us a sound that leaves no prisoners. While V may have the same name as The Bronx’s other releases, the level of thought put into each and every one of these songs makes it unmistakable.
V by The Bronx is out now via Cooking Vinyl/ ATO Records.