By Amy Priest
The Bronx, a Los Angeles hardcore band, released their seventh studio album V on September 22. The name V for this album might seem confusing and misleading, as V is the roman numeral for five, not seven; yet this is the seventh album, not the fifth. This “misnomer,” so to speak, is because this is the band’s fifth self-titled album, and the fifth album produced under their original name. The Bronx has been active for fifteen years, mostly under this name, but also under the name “Mariachi El Bronx,” an alter-ego of sorts. The music produced under “Mariachi El Bronx” has Latin inspiration, making up three of their last four album releases. V, however, seems to be throwing it back to The Bronx’s roots as a hardcore American band.
This album has a feel that is reminiscent of much of the music within the 1980s punk scene. The album is characterized by raw vocals and heavy instrumentals. V is not as heavy and chaotic as their old sound, or as most hardcore punk music. The sound provided by this album seems to be much more melodic and organized. To some of the Bronx’s older fans, and also to some punk fans in general, this might be a deal breaker. Old school punk fans: listen, but listen at your own risk. Although this album is not what you would typically expect from a band like The Bronx, and although it may be just a little bit too calm for you, the musical ability of The Bronx shines through in an album like this one. The music is heavy enough to provide a beat worthy of head-banging, but it is organized enough to avoid becoming too muddled and hard to follow. The instrumentals and vocals truly shine through, making V definitely worth a listen.