Album Review: Steve Conte – Bronx Cheer


The Breakdown

NYC's finest returns from a five year absence to deliver a masterclass in good time rock n' roll songwriting.
Bandcamp

The children of musical parents have a mixed blessing when it comes to career springboards; some find the understanding and support (and potentially the genetic passing on of whatever ‘talent’ actually is) a huge help. Others, it seems, find a famous parent a millstone that’s difficult to escape from.

For Steve Conte, and brother John, the experiences and support of jazz-singer mother Rosemary Conte have clearly been beneficial – but none of that benefit would have been worth a damn if Conte didn’t have talent (that word again) of his own in spades.

Conte’s musical pedigree needs no overplaying – yeah, there’s the obvious New York Dolls and eleven years with the Michael Monroe Band, for sure, but going back there’s a wealth of musical glitterati utilising Conte’s songwriting and playing skills: Etta James, Carole King, the J. Geils Band, his own Company of Wolves and Crown of Thorns bands, and even work with Japanese anime soundtrack composer Yoko Kanno. All of which brings us to now, and to ‘Bronx Cheer’, Conte’s first new album for five years.

And it’s an absolute belter; a mix of Steve Harley, The Ramones, a dash of blue-collar Springsteen, Tom Petty, or John Mellancamp, with that low-down, Johnny Thunders-esque good-time New York City rock n’ roll vibe writ large throughout. ‘Wildwood Moon’ and ‘Flying’ are more ballady and heartfelt, but never without that inimitable Conte feel, opener ‘The Human Animal’ and ‘Liar Like You’ are more toe-tapping upbeat raunch, whilst album closer ‘Gimme Gimme Rockaway’ is possibly the catchiest song so far this year. It’s a wash of melodies, harmonies, and Conte’s energetic groove and bluesy-punk playing throughout.

Put simply, ‘Bronx Cheer’ is absolute class, a full-on, cool-AF, bunch of attitude, energy soaked songs perfectly showcasing Conte’s songwriting skills as well as his effervescent vocals and stellar guitar-work. If this album doesn’t make you smile, it may be time to get the defibrilator out.

Tracklisting:

  1. The Human Animal
  2. Liar Like You
  3. Recovery Doll
  4. Wildwood Moon
  5. Flying
  6. Dog Days Of Summer
  7. Overnight Smash
  8. Those Sexy Lies
  9. Guilty
  10. My Degeneration
  11. Gimme Gimme Rockaway

Order ‘Bronx Cheer’ via Bandcamp

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