Bands We Like: Mariachi El Bronx

By Zachary Swickey

Mariachi El Bronx is a band you need to hear to believe. Never in my life did I think that I would find myself jamming along to a kickass mariachi record. Leave it to Los Angeles punk vets The Bronx to create an alter ego that is completely atypical of their usual style but equally as amazing.

You see, The Bronx are a top-notch hardcore punk act known for putting on bats**t crazy live shows, resembling the closest thing we have to the raucousness of Black Flag in their heyday. The Bronx’s three self-titled albums are a greatest hits package of what I like to call “manthems” (songs that make you want to punch something yet have an inexplicable bouncy quality). On the heels of their last effort in ‘08, they announced the impending release of a mariachi record. Say what?

I thought it was some type of joke at first … until I heard the music. My first taste, “Cell Mates,” was a fun, catchy track with piping trumpets and all the typical mariachi elements, but it seemed like a one-trick pony. Then I heard the mellow, heartfelt “Holy,” which slowed things down and blew me away, instantly converting me into a true mariachi music fan in the process. Matt Caughthran’s vocals have always had a great intensity and emotion to them with The Bronx, and that quality remains with El Bronx, yet in such a different way. His voice can be surprisingly soft and delicate on tracks like “My Love,” which undoubtedly leaves woman swooning. Every track on the album is worth a listen and will make you feel like you’re partyin’ south of the border.

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