Brass and woodwind instruments are certainly becoming quite prominent in today’s version of indie-rock, and in the case of New York City’s Charlie Sub & Sound Dogs it comes alongside a stylish version of ’70s rock where blues and proto-punk ideas are also in attendance.
A quick listen that brings countless ideas to the table, “The Bronx Is Burning” pairs marching band drumming with jazz flavor, as the tune flows with a mild post-punk meets power-pop influence, but not before the cautious yet playful “Satellite Dish” which finds warm grooves amid a mid-tempo rocker. Though the EP starts with the warm saxophones and spirited horns of “Lay My Body Down”, before a moodier setting emits strong vocal work in a calmer environment, it’s the standout track, “One Man Revolution”, that truly defines the outfit with plenty an elegance meets grittiness where sing-a-long choruses are met with timeless melody from the many instruments the Sound Dogs take on.
Frontman Charlie Sub’s folks owned a nightclub during his formative years (the Conventry), and seeing bands like The New York Dolls and The Ramones really left a mark and subsequent influence on his own work. With both NYC veterans and up and coming musicians comprising the Sound Dogs, The Bronx Is Burning illuminates the raw energy of New York’s past as well as today’s creative and often nostalgic nods with an immediate energy and plenty of lasting power.