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Album review | Punk

The Bronx, ‘IV’

Sounds like some tension built up in the five years and two mariachi records since the last Bronx record, as the band’s fourth CD is a relentless, dark tirade. While the material on “IV” is bleak — transgressions and disappointments abound — the band’s delivery of these dozen songs is consistently cathartic. The LA quintet followed its last punk broadside with two albums as its alter ego Mariachi El Bronx. The mariachi albums seem to have bolstered the Bronx’s confidence to be a bit more creative with its brash hardcore roots. Singer Matt Caughthran is bridging guttural howls and melodic nuance here, while the rest of the band roams from parched, lean post-core steeliness (“Along for the Ride”) to thick, tumultuous exorcisms (“Too Many Devils”). The Bronx distills its dour outlook through street-level stories writ with a poetic touch (“Sometimes the best-laid plans still end with blood on your hands”). The environment on “IV” is a wasteland of ground-up dreams (“Youth Wasted”), false prophets (“The Unholy Hand”), and existential paranoia (“Style Over Everything”), yet the Bronx has made it so you can’t turn from the wreckage. (Out Tuesday)

SCOTT McLENNAN

ESSENTIAL “Style Over Everything”

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