Five years since their last eponymous release as The Bronx, these hardcore veterans stick to their guns but find that there’s a lot lost after a ten year career. As these LA punkers developed and grew into heavyweights of the scene, they pleasantly surprised everyone with the quaint tunes of their Mariachi side project, and as they return to the main dish they remain strong, but not spectacular.

IV suffers from rudimentary guitar work and some all-too-ordinary rhythms which barely whet the appetite. The few songs that work within a traditional punk formula (“Style Over Everything” and “Too Many Devils”) do so because of a raucous chorus with stubborn hooks that stand above their surroundings. The other pleasant surprises are the indie rock tinged “Torches”, which uses the soft-loud dynamic that gets used like a cheap hooker these days, but somehow still impresses (also like a cheap hooker?), and the slow burning “Life Less Ordinary”.

From a purely objective musical view it seems “Life Less Ordinary” is the album’s strongest track; expertly paced, melodic, and sentimental yet honest. But if you’re looking for something more classically “Heart Attack American” then the first two tracks mentioned are the best you’ll get.

Like most late career releases, IV suffers from overly high expectations and the stratospheric watermarks of the earlier catalogue. It’s a reliably functional album, and at its best moments it can remind us of the strongest work the Bronx has released over their uniquely discursive career.

Track Listing:

01. The Unholy Hand
02. Along for the Ride
03. Style Over Everything
04. Youth Wasted
05. Too Many Devils
06. Pilot Light
07. Torches
08. Under the Rabbit
09. Ribcage
10. Valley Heat
11. Life Less Ordinary
12. Last Revelation

Run Time: 36:54
Release Date: February 5, 2013

Check out the song “Ribcage”