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The Bronx: The Bronx IV

Cult LA bruisers grow up (dis)gracefully.

The Bronx is their fourth consecutive record with that name. But what they lack in titular invention, they make up for with pretty much everything else.

Picking up where The Bronx one through three left off, this plugs their shit-kicking punk’n’roll into the National Grid of blue-collar American rock – Along For The Ride, Youth Wasted and the supremely tuneful Ribcage owe as much to The Replacements, Tom Petty and even Cheap Trick as they do to Black Flag and Fear.

There’s a keen intelligence at work here, as well as a sort of inverse iconoclasm – Torches is a hoist-the-glass-high sea shanty that deliberately busts the cookie-cutter conventions of latter-day Californian punk rock. That’s not to say the five-piece should be clearing room in their garages for flash cars just yet.

The Unholy Hand and Style Over Everything are fuelled by the kind of righteous fire that rarely blazes any more, while Matt Caughthran’s wildebeest bellow ticks the box marked ‘abrasive’. Big? Nope. Clever? Definitely.