I can’t remember the last time I willingly sat down and listened to punk/punk rock music. Here in the aging twenty-teens, punk has seemingly taken a back seat to today’s more popular genre’s. Like just about any music genre, punk has a plethora of sub-genre’s; many of which are quite diverse from the other, which makes it difficult to label different bands under the same genre.
As a child of the 90’s, the idea of punk usually generates thoughts of groups like early Green Day, Jimmy Eat World, Blink-182, and The Offspring. Of course, these were all “punk” bands that were relatively popular in the 90’s, and lord knows there were probably hundreds more playing out of their garages that nobody ever heard of (or that I at least never heard).
But for those who still love to mosh and smash things in a room full of people, or smash people in a room full of things, do not fear, punk lives on. It may not exist in the slightly more pop-esc style it did in the 90’s, as a matter of fact pure punk is far more raw and angry music than I ever anticipated, and that is the dark, TNT filled layer that The Bronx resides in. The Bronx is a hardcore punk band from Los Angeles and has been around since 2002. Some of you may recognize their alter ego band name: Mariachi El Bronx, as they also create mariachi music when they get tired of raging.
I was introduced to The Bronx inadvertently when I went to a Foo Fighters concert where they happened to be the opener. At that time, they were performing under their Mariachi title, so the music wasn’t quite what I expected. It wasn’t until recently that I discovered Mariachi El Bronx and The Bronx are one in the same, and after giving the regular Bronx a good listen, their sound is very much different from the other.
In some respects, I feel that hardcore punk is more closely related to certain genre’s of metal and is most likely what fathered Screamo, what with all the power chords and screaming. Do not be mistaken, The Bronx has a lot of energy in their music, along with bits of anger and rage. I’ll admit, some of their initial tracks I listened to were rather enjoyable; such as the song “White Guilt” which has a fun, steady beat that reminds one more of a hard rock song than a hardcore punk band. Of course, this didn’t last for long, as they had to live up to their “hardcore” nature.
Most of their songs contain pretty much what you would expect from titles like “Rape Zombie”, “Stop the Bleeding”, and “Heart Attack American”; loud, fast, and lots of yelling and screaming. That’s not to say that they don’t do what they do well, but coming from a guy who literally vomits in his mouth every time he hears Screamo, The Bronx is digestible. There are small moments of clarity here and there, and if I had to compare them to anyone I would say they’re a close 4th or 5th to Rise Against.
Basically, if you’re one for musical complexity, you’ve come to the wrong place. The Bronx is a great listen if you plan on getting hammered and breaking furniture. Put them on a playlist and it won’t take long for you to forget when the last song ended and the next one began. It’s simple, sweaty mosh fun. Not necessarily my cup of tea, but there are plenty of head-bangers that I’m sure would enjoy them.