For Fans Of
No one would have ever expected a punk band like The Bronx to make a mariachi album, but they did, and it was good. Even fewer would have expected a second album in the same vein but that has also happened, and it is just as good, if not better than the first.
The best thing about these records is how true the band has stayed to the mariachi style, with the obvious exception the vocalist Matt Caughtran is singing in English. The group aren’t poking fun at the genre, they aren’t doing punk covers of mariachi songs, they are dead seriously playing a style of music they clearly respect, and they are playing it well.
Opening track 48 Roses is fast-paced and energetic leading into Norteno Lights, a polka number about the need for new love. Many of the song’s subject matters are centred around love, both found and lost, which makes perfect sense as we are talking about a very romantic style of music. One of the stand out tracks is Revolution Girls, mainly due to the fact that it is the catchiest and most memorable song on the album.
A record executed in a way such as this shows just how vast the musical talents of this band are, a great example of which being the instrumental Mariachi El Bronx, which features female mariachi group Reyna de Los Angeles.
Another highlight is the silky smooth, Poverty’s King, a sad song with brilliant percussion and sweeping guitar lines backed perfectly by the horn section. Lyrically, the finest moment is in Matador, the only song on the record that isn’t focussed on relationships and is simply about, a matador. The string sections dance behind the vocal melodies, playing off of each other and giving the song plenty of colour.
The record ends on the groove heavy Spread Thin, a bright, slow paced number that worthy of a Cerveza in the sun.
Never has a band moved so far from the genre they are known for and succeeded as much as The Bronx have with their mariachi albums. Perhaps most of the appeal is in seeing a punk band doing something so different (granted not many of us think "hey I fell like playing some mariachi"), but therein lay the brilliance in exposing people to musical genres that they may otherwise miss. This record is enjoyable and the perfect example of the group’s amazing musical abilities.
1. 48 Roses
2. Great Provider
3. Revolution Girls
5. Norteno Lights
6. Mariachi El Bronx
7. Map Of The World
8. Bodies Of Christ
9. Poverty’s King
11. Everything Dies
12. Spread Thin