Personnel: Matt Caughthran (vocals); Joby J. Ford (guitar, background vocals); Ken Mochikoshi Horne (guitar); Jorma Vik (drums).
Audio Mixer: Beau Burchell.
Recording information: Big Game Lodge, Van Nuys, CA.
Photographer: Lisa Johnson.
L.A. punk rockers the Bronx have always been leaning closer to the rock side of things than the punk, moving further from the brazen Fugazi-meets-Stooges energy of their 2003 debut with each subsequent release. Ten years after that raging debut, an older, more road-ragged Bronx offer up a fourth volume of songs, this time with a metal sheen outshining any punk roots that might have been in the forefront at the band's beginning. The bright production focuses on loud guitars, bashy drums, and screamy, clean vocals high in the mix. This classic hard rock production touches every song on IV, and the first half of the record is composed of songs that seem tailored to fit the post-metal sensibilities of the record's sonic texturing. Songs like "The Unholy Hand," "Too Many Devils," and "Along for the Ride" eschew all punk pretenses, offering instead driving, riff-based hard rock. In the album's more subtle moments, the band's previous post-punk influences come through a bit more, with more complex tracks like "Torches" and "Life Less Ordinary" calling to mind the brilliant dynamics of late-'90s outfits like Drive Like Jehu and Hoover. "Ribcage" taps into the frantic feel of the group's earliest work with a fast punk beat and anthemic chorus. It's a highlight for sure, and helps to round out what would be too singular of an album if the Bronx stuck to just their bad-assed metal songs. The Bronx still have ample amounts of soul, guts, and verve on IV, and though they continue to evolve away from their roots, the songs still concentrate on packing as much of a punch as humanly possible. ~ Fred Thomas
Q (Magazine) (pp.94-95) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[A] good deal more varied than its predecessors...[with] the twin guitars beefing things up with metal-crossover riffage..."