September 23, 2009

The Bronx

Those of you who know me might find this strange, but ever since seeing them play live in Melbourne a few Sundays ago, I just cannot get enough of The Bronx. I was familiar with their first two albums from hearing Shep play them repeatedly at the tattoo shop, and I saw them play at Fowler's in Adelaide in March 2007 which I remember being loads of fun, but I guess they never quite grabbed me by the shoulders and shook me like they did this time.

I did previously have an inkling that I might find them a bit special after 'Dirty Leaves' came on one day at work and gave me the shivers and I had to immediately turn up the volume and listen to it again...but perhaps the fact that I've never been a really big fan of punk music prevented me from paying as much attention as I should have to the band as a whole. Apparently it took them releasing a mariachi album to make me realise that they are such an incredible band, which is almost weirder than liking them for their punk aesthetic.

In a way I guess it makes sense that I would be enjoying more aggressive and explosive music right now, because as Shaun pointed out to me, I'm in a place at the moment where I'm incredibly inspired and full of energy and feel like I want to take on the world, in strong contrast with the melancholy I felt living in Adelaide where I drowned myself in Jesu and Elliott Smith records to soothe my soul. But in the end, aside from the quality song-writing and musicianship and Matt Caughthran's incredible voice, I think it's the fact that The Bronx approach all their music with absolute sincerity, infusing it with the entire spectrum of human emotions in the most heartfelt of manners, which makes them so appealing. There's something about Caughthran's lyrics and vocal delivery that remind me of Killing Joke's (incredible) Jaz Coleman in that his angst, paranoia, anger, and frustration appear to be an energising force more than a debilitating one.

Anyway, I could actually go on about this band forever, especially right now as I've been immersing myself in interviews and youtube clips for a week or more so I'll resist saying any more for the time being. But I will leave you with some clips that I have enjoyed watching in the hope that you might enjoy them too. Having given you a taste of what their live shows as The Bronx look like in the photos above, I'll share with you some videos of them performing as El Bronx, their mariachi alter-ego. My favourite is Holy, the last of the three clips.

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