. What a good name for a band - evoking strength, bad-ass-ness and a hint of J-Lo. Carried by Cage The Elephant-esque guitar it’s like the cordial version of AC/DC. By album three you might expect a band to hit the mark from the start and for their “rawked-out” image to be perfected and not a repetitive, droning emulation of past greats but unfortunately that’s what it is.
‘Inveigh’ tries hard to induce a stadium, rocked-out sound which unfortunately falls flat - as the vocals screech, shout and snarl it is as though they are trying to come across as attitude with a capital ‘A’ and falling short of the mark. As one songs bleeds into another with blandness unrivalled there is one thing underlying the whole attempt - effort. And effort is something which true rock’n’rollers don’t want to show - Ozzy bit the head off a bat like it was a Fruit’n’Nut bar but you get the impression The Bronx would want to garnish and fricassee any winged rodents before making a spectacle of themselves. The Darkness rocked better than these. And had a better attempt at true 70s rock’n’roll and catsuits.
However, if the beginning of the album falls flats it is the second half which comes alive. ‘Pleasure Seekers’ combines the same grizzled guitar and shouting vocals yet is one of the better songs on the album with a Queens Of The Stoneage feel and ‘Young Bloods’ even has an attempt at singing! In fact mid-album something happens. Ok, Alice Cooper needn’t worry just yet but ‘Young Bloods’ actually does gather speed and rigorousness and even has (dare we say it?) a melody. Head banging and foot tapping is acceptable as it bleeds into ‘Shop High In Transit’ and with ‘Spanish Handshake’ bringing up the rear the spark is completed. Faith in the religion that is true Rage Against The Machine rock won’t be extinguished for true fans but the tried and tested formula does get a little wearing.
It’s a pity it takes until the end of the album for The Bronx to truly get going and initial impressions of their feral, kick-ass name just aren’t lived up too.
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Long-time followers will not be disappointed, but new converts are likely to be few in number.
Four years on from their last album, the punks are back with their most politically-minded, angry and galvanising record to date.
Curiously subdued in places.
If you enjoyed ‘I’ and ‘II’, ‘III’ is well worth a listen.