The Bronx brings to life a blood n’ guts punk rock sound with some refined melodic chops to boot.

The Bronx are primarily known for two distinctive sounding kinds of albums, which in itself is something of a feet in punk rock; a genre notorious for being pretty easy to phone it in. The Bronx (IV) should technically count as an album for their aggressive punk rock side as opposed to their Mariachi experiments(Mariachi el Bronx). And while there is no Mariachi to be found here, it would be mislabeling to classify this as a typical punk rock album. The Bronx bring it in ways they never have before on their 4th outing and mix up the aggressive with a healthy dose of finesse to create an emotionally charged sounding album.

The staples are all here as expected; the crunchy guitar riffs, the machine-gun fire drumming and the attitude. The album opener “Unholy Hand” sets the tone of the album by being an unflinching, punch in the mouth. The energy never drops from there but the ballsy aggression of the album is so up front, it’s not till after the fact that you appreciate the creative touches. The band flirts with some more melodic sounds that were virtually unheard of on their last albums and a few of the tracks (“Along For The Ride”, “Youth Wasted” and “Pilot Light”) sound like outright skate punk. Post-hardcore song structures and emocore influences come through can be heard on one of the standout tracks of the album “Torches.” But they never forsake they’re aggressive energy and for even gorgeous sounding melodic line and unique guitar tone, there’s a monster of a backbeat and a wall of guitar furry right behind it. That juxtaposition of charged punk rock energy meets softer melody is trend that’s also present on Matt Caughthran’s vocals. He sound as good barking death threats as he does letting his voice crack with real emotion.

If there was one word you could use to describe the sound of The Bronx IV it would be mature. Even the lyrics reflect a subtle mood shift that’s displays a surprising growth “There was a time when the world was under our control/But that hour has died/And now we’re just along for the ride,” ain’t exactly “Anarchy In The U.K”. Though that’s not to say The Bronx completely forsake youthful anger for introspection as they are quick to remind in “Style Over Everything” “I shoot to kill/I don’t [expletive] around!”

            The Bronx keep it balanced with tight punk rock hooks paired with creative songwriting and marked maturity. At no moment does The Bronx IV ever get stale and with the exception of one track, “The Less Ordinary” (which is the only moment when the album truly feels like it loses momentum), there are no throw away tracks and each one packs as much as wallop as the one before.