‘IV’, to use its semi-official title thanks to the band’s insistence on self-naming everything in sight, is a wondrous beast. From the balls-out punk of ‘Too Many Devils’ and ‘Valley Heat’ to the brilliantly Weezer-esque relative slowie ‘Torches’, it’s an instant classic. The feeling of knowing a song inside-out before it ends is easily one of the most joyous around: here, it’s happened before you’ve even pressed play.
From the moment opener ‘The Unholy Hand’ fully kicks in, with its blue-collar vitriol, it’s evident The Bronx aren’t likely to chill out in their sombreros any time soon: most of record is as relentless as anyone would expect. And yet the finest moment on ‘IV’ is in fact its most sedate. ‘Life Less Ordinary’, surprisingly not the album’s closer – that honour going to the anthemic, title-gives-the-game-away ‘Last Revelation’ – is a stunner. Like a country crooner making full use of his whisky-weathered tones, frontman Matt Caughthran’s damaged vocals are treated with delicate precision, juxtaposing perfectly with the confessional lyrical content.
There was an interview conducted with Caughthran just last year as the band were completing work on the album that quotes him as having celebrated the slew of established rock bands returning in 2012 with what is potentially their best material. With ‘IV’, in 2013 it looks like it’s him and chums so far leading the charge.
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They released latest album ‘V’ last year.
They’ll hit the road in January.
Four years on from their last album, the punks are back with their most politically-minded, angry and galvanising record to date.
They’re playing The Black Heart in Camden in a couple of weeks.