Mariachi El Bronx

El Bronx

Written by: PP on 28/12/2009 04:47:36

Some of you guys will have seen The Bronx spread their honest breed of hardcore punk live during last year's Roskilde Festival or elsewhere, some of you own each of their three critically acclaimed self-titled records, and others will just recognize the name in connection with hardcore punk. But get this, about two years ago or so, the band expressed interest in writing a mariachi record instead of a hardcore punk one. Mariachi is basically traditional Mexican folk music. Most people figured the band were just joking around, but here we are with "El Bronx", an 11 track, 39 minute full length by Mariachi El Bronx (as they like to call their mariachi alter ego) of pure Mexican folk music without the slightest hint of the band's hardcore / rock'n'roll roots. Vocalist Matt Caughthran goes onto explain, "It's a really really important record; it's the best thing I've ever done. It's all original music, traditional mariachi stuff, and it's the punkest thing in the world for a band like The Bronx to put out a record like that. And I know it's gonna fuck a lot of people up".

Well no shit. As the punk correspondent at Rockfreaks.net, how the fuck am I supposed to review a The Bronx record focusing on a genre that, a) I haven't heard a single song in prior to this one unless you count Status Quo as a Mariachi band and b) that's nowhere near my musical taste? Is this review pointless? Maybe so, but we more or less have to cover The Bronx, so here goes with all the prejudice in the world. There, I said it, don't whine in the comments.

Since The Bronx are from Los Angeles, which isn't that far from the Mexican border, it's makes some sense that the band wants to embrace the culture around them. But honestly, listening to the disc, the only thing that pops into my mind is that South Park episode "Casa Bonita", where Cartman convinces Butters that a meteor the size of Wyoming is about to hit Planet Earth and destory everything in order to get invited to Kyle's birthday at this Mexican restaurant called Casa Bonita. Yeah, basically a typical South Park plot that's over the top times a hundred. The restaurant has a mariachi band, utilizing instruments such as vihuela, jarana, ukelele, requinto romantico and guitarron, who look and sound stereotypically Mexican. Basically, The Bronx are that stereotypical band under their alter ego, Mariachi El Bronx, and nothing more, unless of course you're someone with more knowledge to the genre. But realistically speaking, most punk, rock and even hardcore fans are likely to view the album in this manner, which begs the question: what the fuck is the point, other than to show off that "we can write Mexican folk music too, boo ya"?

5

Download: Cell Mates
For the fans of: Traditional Mexican music, but NOT The Bronx
Listen: Myspace

Release date 01.09.2009
Swami / Wichita

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