THE BRONX, High Tension. The Croxton Bandroom, Melbourne. 31-10-2018.


Words Mark Ireland.
Photos Stephen Boxshall.

Tonight’s gig was always going to be special not only was it Halloween but it was the 15th Anniversary of The Bronx touring Australia. Unfortunately I missed Private Function but from all reports they smashed it out of the park.

High Tension recently released their third album Purge, so their set was a good mix of new tracks as well as classic tracks from Death Beat. The whole band dressed up as members from King Diamond, which was suitably apt for Halloween. As High Tension’s career has progressed they’ve only gotten heavier. Tonight’s set vocalist Karina Utomo really did seem to evoke Satan on stage. She has got one hell of a voice and the rest of the band complement her presence, especially Lauren Hammel whose drumming was like a pounding migraine that pulsated through the skulls of everyone that was present.

For 15 years The Bronx have brought chaos and mayhem to the Australian shores, and tonight was no exception. Lead singer Matt Caughthran is a total punk rock preacher. His commanding presence from the pulpit brings the masses to their feet and instructs them to destroy each other with rock n roll. The whole band dressed up like a dead version of Elvis which was hilarious and totally punk rock.

The entire Croxton bandroom was decorated in Halloween decor, spiderwebs, giant spiders, the whole shebang. Classic early tracks like ‘Shitty Future’ and ‘Notice of Eviction’ were standouts for the older fans, and ‘Night Drop at the Glue Factory’ from last years V album brought the new fans to the floor.

It was great to see so many go all out with the Halloween costumes. Halfway through the night they had a costume competition on stage, there was Pennywise from IT, Walter Sobchak from The Big Lebowski was spot on, the winner was classic cartoon character Bananaman. After the competition ended the band came back on and pulverised the crowd, the relentless energy was transferred straight into the crowd, they didn’t let up for a single second.

For 15 years The Bronx have come back harder and heavier on every tour, like an out of control semi trailer with no brakes they plow through their set with complete reckless energy.

Life affirming isn’t the term that one would usually hear when talking about punk rock, but The Bronx really stand out from the crowd with the positive energy they bring to the gigs.

Australia loves the Bronx and the band showed exactly how much they love us.

Easily one of the gigs of the year.