The Bronx

The Bronx [2003]

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The Bronx's self-titled debut is a beautifully violent exhibition of pure punk rock. No pogo-pouncing guitar licks or aggro-happy vocals fit the ambitious agenda of this SoCal four-piece, nor do they hold the pretense held by most post-grunge rock kids. The Bronx are dead serious with their craft; they're uncompromising without being disconcerting, allowing this powerhouse release to make an impression. Sure, criticizing the America's conservative value system may be more than overdone, but if you're able to say something new, it's relevant and that's exactly what makes The Bronx an interesting first album. Themes of direction and rejection carry this manic, red-hot cardinal set with producer Gilby Clarke at the helm. As soon as "Heart Attack American" kicks things off, the Bronx immediately blast you with a Stooges-meets-Fugazi jolt. Matt Caughthran's vocals are not only a frenzied mess, but they're scathingly convincing. Joby J. Ford (guitar), James Tweedy (bass), and Jorma Vik (drums) make for a sharp backup section, and songs like "White Tar" and "Notice of Eviction" thrive on the band's personal revolt against what's mediocre and typically popularized. In classic punk style, The Bronx rage against the machine just enough to irk you -- and it's never felt so good.

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