Note::: Chris Walter is a Vancouver writer and the author of more than twenty books. His latest book “SNFU … What No One Else Wanted to Say” is available on iTunes today & in book format this Friday. In anticipation of the release, Chris is sharing some other acts that caught his ears over the years.
Don’t listen to the Bronx when they say they’re a hardcore punk band. Glass-chewing, firebreathing singer Matt Caughthran owes more to Ian Astbury of The Cult than he does to Henry Rollins, and the rest of the band are hard rocking motherfuckers who don’t spend much time trying sound like Rise Against, or whatever passes for punk rock these days. But don’t let labels get in the way; The Bronx serve red hot rock with a side order of mariachi, and it doesn’t really matter if they are difficult to categorize. If anything, the confusion seems to work in their favour.
To further complicate matters, The Bronx are from LA, not New York as the name suggests. The enigmatic band was so explosive coming out of the gate in 2002, that they attracted a manager almost immediately, and signed with Island Def Jam Music Group after playing less than twelve shows.
However, in keeping with their skewed way of doing things, the band didn’t record their debut album on the major label immediately, choosing instead to release several demos, a single, and their first album, The Bronx, independently. It wasn’t until 2006 that they unleashed their major label debut (also titled The Bronx) on Def Jam.
In fact, The Bronx have released three albums to date, all of them called The Bronx. Perhaps the punkest thing The Bronx ever did was in 2008, when they appeared as Black Flag in What We Do Is Secret, the movie about Germs’ singer Darby Crash. In 2011, the band released a rock-tinged mariachi album entitled Mariachi El Bronx.
No one is quite sure what the boys will do next, including themselves, but whatever it is, the project will surely be interesting. In an age of cookie-cutter rock, The Bronx refuse to acknowledge that a template even exists.