Currently comprised of founding members Matt Caughtran (vocals, guitar) and Joby J. Ford (guitar), along with Ken Horne (guitar), Brad Magers (bass) and David Hidalgo, Jr. (drums), the Los Angeles, CA-based punk rock quintet The Bronx can trace their origins back to 2002 when the band formed with founding members Caughtran and Ford, with James Tweedy (bass) and Jorma Vik (drums) — and after their first live set, the band quickly caught the attention Jonathan Daniel, who manages American Hi-Fi, and who became their manager. By their second live show, the band had attracted the attention of A&R reps from several major labels — and by their 12th live show ever, they had signed a contract with Island Def Jam Music Group; however, the band felt that they weren’t ready to record for a major label, so they formed their own label to release their own early releases including a 2002 demo Sure Death, their first official single “Bats!” and their Gilby Clarke-produced, self-titled full-length debut. Building upon the early buzz they received, the band promptly followed up with the La Muerte Viva EP as well as tours of the States and Australia.
2006’s self-titled debut was the band’s major label debut and it featured attention-grabbing singles “History’s Stranglers,” “White Guilt” and “Shitty Future.” The Dragons‘ Ken Horne contributed some guitar to the album, and he soon joined the band as their second guitarist. And despite the lineup changes, the band has released five full-length albums of blistering and gritty punk, including their most recent album V and interestingly enough three albums of mariachi under the name Mariachi El Bronx.
The Rob Schanpf-produced V, which was released last month, has managed to be their most commercially successful effort to date as it debuted at #62 on the Billboard Top 200, #5 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart and #27 on the Billboard Rock Albums chart. Despite the early commercial success of the album, as the band’s Joby Ford says in press notes “[The album] has the angst and social commentary that has characterized us from the beginning, only now the angst is aimed at more than just superficial things and the social commentary is directed at more than just people who like different music than us.” As result, album single “Sore Throat” may arguably be one of the most explosive and furious rock songs I’ve come across this year, as it features blistering power chords, thundering drumming, howled vocals and breakneck, shout and mosh worthy hooks — and perhaps unsurprisingly, the song reminds me of Plague Vendor‘s excellent BLOODSWEAT in the sense that every time I’ve played it, I want to hear it as loud as humanly possible and in a room of sweaty friends and strangers losing our minds.
The recently released video is a wild and frenetic take on 80s post apocalyptic sci fi movies, complete with the static and wavering screens but cut with footage of the band playing sweaty and primal sets.