10 March 2013

The Bronx - The Bronx (2)

Another one of my random trailers via Spotify brings me The Bronx. No, not the neighbourhood in New York, but to the band.  Hailing from Los Angeles, California, The Bronx is a Hardcore Punk band who has been going since 2002.  Strangely enough, I have known of their existence but I have so far avoided them. Not because they were getting bad reviews, far from it, everything I have read has been positive (even when they released mariachi music under the name Mariachi El Bronx.  But now it is time to delve in and I basically went for the cover which was most interesting.

This is their second album and was released in 2006, and (as noted earlier) given lots of praise.  They bring lots of energy to most of their tracks, which was produced by Michael Beinhorn (who has also produced Korn, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Soundgarden & others) and Gilby Clarke (ex-guitarist of Guns N' Roses), but I will go on about the production a little later.  Songs such as "Small Stones", "Shitty Future", "Three Dead Sisters" and "History’s Stranglers" are really good.  The band when they get the songs right are pretty good and sound like they should be used as protest anthems against the rest of the world.

This brings me to the disappointing side of the record.  The word that kept coming back to me was "safe".  It did not feel like this was done by a band playing for their futures or with any real anger in them.  When I was listening to "Dirty Leaves" I got the impression of a MTV generation punk video with mournful looks and artistic shots to show you the real suffering.  The other word that kept coming up was "same".  Towards the end of the record, especially with "Rape Zombie", "Around The Horn" & "White Guilt", the only reason I knew they were different tracks is that I had to go back to see the name playing, and there was no passion, no fire, nothing on show to say this was coming from some angry men trying to change their world.  I think it has too much of a polished rock production and needed to be done by either the band themselves or by someone who understands punk. Messrs Clarke & Beinhorn most certainly did not in this case, it shines when it should be dirty and is smooth when it should be rough.

This is supposed to be hardcore punk, it is not very easy to get wrong - yet I feel that they have done just that. I could easily play this alongside an 80's Elton John record and feel the same level of rebellion. Ok, maybe that is a bit harsh but it does show a point.  Punk is not meant to be safe, it can be samey (for further reference to that look up Rancid and Discharge), but it is not supposed to be safe.  It should have danger, excitement and a dark edge.  This was as dark as a Disney film at 3 in the afternoon on a summer's day.  There is a record in this band that might prove me wrong, and I will try with their other records.  The thing that scares me is that the mariachi album might be more punk then this. Such a shame as the cover is genius, but the content is dull.

4 out of ten - Well it is alright, but still......

You can purchase from here

You can listen to it on Spotify here

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