Today we have one of the latest releases from a recent Geenger Records batch. Just like Isolation Blues by In From The Cold, this one also suffered some delays in vinyl production due to the messed-up logistics in the vinyl factory. That’s not a surprise considering most of the record labels/vinyl manufacturers postponed some of their release dates due to the troubles with pandemics and shortage of supplies for vinyl production. Bronze is a Serbian hardcore band known across the region for being a prolific live band. For those closely tied to underground music, Bronze is also a synonym for the veterans of the local hardcore scene. The band consists of members who previously played in bands like Mob Law, Member Of Da Family, Hitman, Fullsize, Violent Chapter, Deadrise, The Bridge, Plavo, and I probably missed some of the names along the way. Since their formation, Bronze released a single called Ticking Bomb, Disease CS EP, and then a couple of singles such as Blind Servant and Oppressing Superior.
Ticking Bomb is their debut full-length that consists of all the previous recordings released from July 2018 until January 2021. It seems the group aimed to capture all the material from that period in one place, so the vinyl record is more than an appropriate sound carrier for this type of endeavor. Also, it’s a perfect opportunity for all the loyal fans to grasp all their physical and digital releases at singular vinyl. I have to admit that the packaging looks eye-peeling. The entire cover is made in brown, maroon, bronze, sepia, gold, beige tones, which is quite unusual for modern hardcore graphic solutions, but it works very well for this particular release. Somehow it works with the name and the aesthetics of the band. The front cover consists of a photo captured when protesters clashed with police after the murder of George Floyd. The imagery reflects the band’s stance against racism, police brutality, oppressors but also calls out for equal rights for people of color. The backside offers the tracklist, all the necessary information about these recordings, record label info, tracklist, and photo from the live performance stretched from one corner of the cover art to another. The inlay carries lyrics and a couple of band photos slightly layered with grunge texture. Bronze stays loyal to the roots, and besides heavy sound, offers classic hardcore imagery.
If you’re not already familiar with their previous recordings, Bronze explores different styles and eras of hardcore music. Perhaps the modern hardcore is the most dominant one during the entire album, but you may also hear their appreciation for mid-nineties European hardcore, mid to late-nineties American hardcore and metalcore, beatdown, sludge, even melodic hardcore at some points. The band put so much effort into their music, and maybe there’s a lot of influences lurking around, but their material sounds compact from scratch to finish. The most surprising fact about Ticking Bomb is the fact you won’t notice any differences between recordings. Considering these compositions were recorded during the separate sessions, producing and mastering this material was probably a big challenge, but the group overcame this obstacle with such ease. Guitars sound tight from beginning to end. Riffs are heavy and thoughtfully arranged. The rhythm section carries the greater portion of the massiveness of their sound. Lead vocals offer classic hardcore shoutouts, semi-growls, but also you may hear clean vocal segments here and there. The band also included unavoidable singalongs for an even better listening experience. All in all, Ticking Bomb is a must if you’re into modern hardcore, decorated with everything you love about hardcore music in general. Head over to Geenger Records for more information about ordering.