After listening to Charlie Bronson’s self titled EP it doesn’t provide any real clues to which Bronson they are named after. Opening track Same Ol’ Same Old is scuzzy, rough and distinctly lo-fi while being straightforward. That could potentially allude to Bronson the actor. Its sets up the expectation that more of the same will follow, but surprisingly this Cellbridge band don’t take the easy option and hurtle off in unexpected directions. The first evidence of this is Elevate, Alleviate which has a languid groove much in the vein of the Velvet Underground.
It’s followed up by Bare Necessity which brings in a reggae-esque bounce with cleaner vocals and takes a loop the loop before ending unexpectedly. It feels apparent that Charlie Bronson feel much more comfortable concocting off kilter beats, rhythm’s and song structures.
The best is saved for last as Djuwana Storm leaves behind the groove focused previous songs to go off on a wild Brian Jonestown Massacre style stomp. It breaks down mid way for an unexpected instrumental that leaves you guessing how and where it will end. It rises, collapses, picks itself of the ground before abruptly calling it quits. This is Charlie Bronson at their unpredictable. Djuwana Storm forces you to reconsider the songs that preceded it. When you first encounter Same Ol’ Same Old it gives the impression this will be a decent by the numbers indie rock effort, but on further reflection Djuwana Storm highlights just how stale the opening track is compared to what follows.
The ‘Charlie Bronson’ EP is uneven and you can’t help thinking this is a band wrestling with themselves as to how they ought to sound. Hopefully they’ll eventually settle on more mad perma locked prisoner version of Charlie Bronson as their imagination when allowed to run free , makes them a such an intriguing prospect.