Review: Mariachi El Bronx – Mariachi El Bronx (II)

Mariachi El Bronx – Mariachi El Bronx (II)
Released: September 5th 2011
Label: ATO Records

I have been a fan of the Bronx since 2003, hearing them fresh out of school and it was one of the most structurally sound albums I had heard; and they have enjoyed a strong career full of intense live shows and powerful records, until they decided to turn it all around on the proverbial dime and start writing a ‘mariachi’ record.

A mariachi record involves a lot of flamenco guitar and Spanish-themed rhythms, and it couldn’t be further from the punk-rock band that I had grown to love; but I listened to the first Mariachi El Bronx album where they assumed the role of their ‘alter egos’ and I really started to enjoy the soulful lyrics in each of the songs, partially dismissing it as an enjoyable side project that they wanted to get out of their system before going back to write more punk rock, then came the second Mariachi El Bronx (II) album this year.

I was surprised at first when they decided to write another mariachi record as good as the last one was; as soon as I played the first track ‘48 Roses’; I could even hear the growth in lyrical and instrumental skill immediately; the growth of stylistic capabilities. It was definitely proof that this new style was more than an experiment for the band, their fifth full-length release shows all the promise of even more to come when many bands struggle to maintain that tenacity at this stage in this career. This band haven’t forsaken their punk rock roots, merely done one of the bravest things that a band can do and completely change their style overnight and lived to tell the tale. It’s just another excellent record where you can get lost in the music even if it doesn’t have distortion and power chords driving the songs.

Recommended Tracks:

• 48 Roses

• Revolution Girls

• Matador

Review: Adam Taylor