I was contacted recently by a band I previously didn’t know called The Bronsons. I liked what I heard of their music, and I offered to review their EP, Out Too Early, which at the time they were in the midst of recording. So they sent me a download when it was ready; and here is the review.
A little background info first though. They are four-piece R’n’B outfit + two lovely ladies on backing vocals, who are based in West London – and they’re good! They describe themselves as ‘loud, trashy, fast and relentless, London-style, garage-band R’n’B’. Yeah, that sums it up nicely! Think of Wilko; Dr.Feelgood; or Eddie & The Hot Rods, and you’re in the right general area. They were originally formed back in ’81, but split by ’85; then reformed in 2013. Since then they’ve been gigging hard, and have now got some songs recorded.
The Bronsons (like The Ramones) are all using psuedonyms (I like that – it adds to the fun and mystique of the band). They currently consist of: Carlos Bronson (Drums); Chas Bronson (Guitar); George Bronson (Bass); and James Bronson (Vocals / Harp). These four are supplemented by the beautiful Bronsonettes on backing vocals – Giselle and Zara.
Out Too Early is a six-track EP of die-hard R’n’B songs of the old-school type – yet new and exciting at the same time. There are three originals and three covers. They start as they mean to go on, with the opening number ‘Shovelling’ (shit for cash!); and follow up with ‘Local Man’ – both penned by vocalist James Bronson. Good songs with tasty guitar and harp; and amusing lyrics on both.
Next up is an excellent cover of the old Little Walter song ‘High Temperature’. And this is followed by ‘Someday Baby’ by Sleepy John Estes. Both have been given a Bronsons power make-over; and the latter has had the lyric revamped ‘…to make it meaner’. The result is a couple of rejuvenated Blues classics to blow your socks off!
The final original work is ‘R’n’B Ville’, penned by guitarist Chas Bronson; which is another very good piece of work indeed. Finally they end with a suped-up cover of the old Savoy Brown tune ‘Taste And Try’. Although the band say that their version owes a lot to the influence of ’70s pub rockers The Count Bishops’ version of the song, they’re certainly no copy-cats, and have made it their own. The ladies take an equal vocal share on this one too, which makes it a bit different.
All in all this is a great EP – a breath-taking white knuckle ride of old-school R’n’B! There’s plenty of fire from the boys, yet even though the girls soften the sound with their fine backing vocals, every track is still bristling with energy. The bass and drums of the rhythm section don’t let down the guitar, harp and vocals, either.
I’ve not seen this band live, but I’ve got a fair idea that they’d be kicking arse in any Blues / Rock pub that they play; and I think they’d go down a storm supporting someone like Wilko. There are a few other good hard-working R’n’B bands operating around London and the South-East; and they’re all pretty tasty (think of excellent bands like The Voodoo Sheikhs and The Fat Penguins for example), but to stand out from the crowd, you need to be a bit special; and I think The Bronsons have got something good going on here. They’re musically tight and very competent; they’ve got good songs; they’ve got energy, enthusiasm, and a fun attitude; from the videos I’ve seen they look an exciting band to see live; and they’ve got the ladies on vocals too who add a lot to the final mix. This all adds up to a winning formula. I don’t know how far this band are capable of going, but I think they’re up for it, and I wish them every success for the future. I’ll get to see them live some time soon too. PTMQ
Here is a link to the band’s website, that has all the info that you may need…. http://www.bronsons.uk/