Mariachi El Bronx – (II)


Rating: NNNN

Given the quality and rate of release of these mariachi records, it’s possible we may never hear the punk rock Bronx ever again. This is the second straight mariachi release from the L.A.-based hardcore and punk unit, and it’s just as good as the first. To be clear, this isn’t an attempt at humour, irony or the incorporation of mariachi sounds into hard rock. This is straight mariachi with frontman Matt Caughthran dialing down his vocals to the point where he could join Los Lobos.

It’s possible mariachi purists might balk at his throaty rock singing style even though he’s mostly a low-key presence among the bursting trumpets, accordions and bajo sexto. The perfect swaying example is Fallen, in which Caughthran quietly croons a love song behind a breezy mariachi arrangement. Most of the album is quite festive, though, and often, as on Map Of The World, has the punk energy that made the Bronx such a badass group. But if they decide to never go back to punk and instead play out their careers as a top-notch mariachi band, it would be hard to argue against the decision.

Top track: Fallen

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