The Bronx/Mariachi El Bronx – The Garage, Glasgow, 26/08/11
LA punks and their Mariachi band side-project
Call them what you will, but The Bronx are entertainers. You could laugh off the LA punks’ idea of a Mariachi band side-project as mere novelty but the fact that they not only play their newly adopted instruments with vigour and immense proficiency, the songs they've come out with clearly demonstrate their knack for penning affecting lyrics and relentlessly infectious pieces of music with or without the added violence of distortion. It is a fact that is floated with stylish ease at the Garage tonight as they (Mariachi El Bronx) open for themselves as part of a much-anticipated double-header. Dressed in full traditional get-up, admittedly it's a bit like being at a kick-ass wedding as opposed to rock show, and at times it seems singer, Matt Caughthran, might have his work cut out for him trying coax a reaction out of a crowd hungry for hardcore and largely uninterested in Mariachi music. Still, he manages to unite disbelievers and loyal followers alike through a seemingly infinite supply of good vibes and class, warming them up for the reckless riot ahead.
Returning to the stage, dressed down and ready to work us all, The Bronx take their more familiar positions before proceeding to wreck everything in sight. From ‘Inveigh’, to ‘History's Stranglers’ to ‘Six Days A Week’ to ‘Heart Attack American’, it's an all-out assault aimed at their scrambling fanatics desperate to blow off steam, and for the uninitiated, its a crash course in how to work a crowd; if you drank every time Caughthran breached the barriers you'd need your stomach pumped. Passionate, funny and riddled with fury, not to mention, balls, The Bronx effortlessly thrust the crowd into crashing waves of boot-in-face riots and throat-ripping scream-a-longs. Not many bands can play two sets of such consistently high quality, let alone deliver flawless Mexican horn music before bludgeoning you into submission with searing punk rock half an hour later. Then again, as they say, The Bronx aren't most bands and this, if we ever needed it, is proof.