Otherwise known as Californian hardcore punk band The Bronx, the band’s alter ego Mariachi El Bronx return with their third album of Mariachi inspired music. Released via ATO Records ‘III’ is a different direction for the band as they come into their own: with a different approach to writing, the band defy tradition here with the help of old sequencers, synths and an ARP.
Available in all formats, including day-glo orange vinyl.
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Imagine if a random LA hardcore act, let’s say the Bronx, decided they were done with all that See You In The Pit shit, but couldn’t really hack ska, and so -- with no where to turn in this sad, lonely world of lost punx -- decided to make mariachi instead.
Okay. But that’s literally what ‘III’ is: the Bronx does mariachi.
I’m kind of surprised this exists with no exclamation points or question marks or pieces of investigative journalism about what the fuck the Bronx (I’m sorry: Mariachi El Bronx) are doing and who let them do it. I’m also kind of surprised it’s been going on for so long. And I’m triply very, very surprised at just how good it is. Though it’s hard to do mariachi wrong (so long as it’s well produced, boisterously loud, full of trumpets and cinematic strings, it sounds like the purest pop music), it’s also hard for a band like the Bronx to do it right without feeling appropriative and kinda cheap. And yet somehow, ‘III’ is a weird little triumph.
‘III’ takes its premise very literally, refusing to compromise and dilute mariachi through punk rock or other means; there are moments where the Bronx are tempted by weird sidelined experiments, like the stifled electronic intro to “Sticks and Stones”, but it’s only really used to better pronounce the violins and trumpets when they kick in. It’s amazing how the Bronx know how to move and shake in this genre, and doubly weird to hear them making this kind of pragmatic sunshine music -- there are vocal harmonies and echoed vocals and big band compositions, the kind of things I assumed the Bronx were vaccinated against.
So yeah, what? I’m looking at the Mariachi El Bronx last.fm page right now and it says that one of thier similar artists is the Ghost of a Thousand and I just. Don’t. Know. What’s. Going. On.
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