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Mariachi El Bronx (I)
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Album: Mariachi El Bronx (I)
# Song Title   Time
1)    Cell Mates
2)    Litigation
3)    Despretador
4)    Quinceniera
5)    Sleepwalking
6)    Silver or Lead
7)    Slave Labor
8)    Clown Powder
9)    Holy
10)    My Brother the Gun
11)    My Love
 

Album: Mariachi El Bronx (I)
# Song Title   Time
1)    Cell Mates
2)    Litigation
3)    Despretador
4)    Quinceniera
5)    Sleepwalking
6)    Silver or Lead
7)    Slave Labor
8)    Clown Powder
9)    Holy
10)    My Brother the Gun
11)    My Love
 
Product Description
Product Details
Performer Notes
  • Personnel: Matt Laughthran (vocals); Vincent Hidalgo (guitar, guitarron, jarana); Joby J. Ford (guitar, ukulele, vihuela); David Hidalgo (guitar, accordion); Ken Mochikoshi Horne (guitar); John Avila (charango, background vocals); Bruce Lee (violin); Brad Magers (horns, background vocals); Jorma Vik (drums, percussion); Alfredo Rolando Ortiz, Alfredo Ortiz (percussion).
  • Audio Mixers: John Avila; The Bronx.
  • Recording information: Brandos Paradise, San Gabriel, CA (03/2008).
  • Photographer: Lisa Johnson.
  • OK, pay close attention: the Bronx is a punk band from Los Angeles. Mariachi el Bronx is a band that seems -- on this album anyway -- to have in common with the Bronx only its lead singer, though other information seems to indicate that the two bands are normally identical except for the addition of a female guitarron player. The band's self-titled album consists of newly composed pop/rock songs performed in mariachi style, complete with charango, guitarron, trumpets, strings, and guest artists that include Los Lobos' David Hidalgo and album producer John Avila (formerly of Oingo Boingo). How's the music? Consistently excellent, and although it has to be said that singer Matt Caughthran is about a quartet-tone flat most of the time, the passion in his voice and the soaring melodies make it very easy to overlook that fact. Mariachi music is all about the thrill of heartbreak and longing, and that's exactly what is communicated here (regardless of the actual lyrical content) on highlight like "Despretador," "Litigation," and "Cell Mates." "Sleepwalking" features a loping, off-kilter rhythm, while "Clown Powder" is a blocky waltz with a subtly anguished "You can't go home again" lyric, and "Holy" features a charming spaghetti western feel. This album is that rarest of pop commodities: a party album supreme that also rewards close listening. ~ Rick Anderson
Professional Reviews
Spin (p.80) - "[They] trade the bruisingly metallic Black Flag guitars for the kind of thrumming acoustic arrangements that have long been a part of Southern California's sonic landscape."

Spin (p.29) - Ranked #34 in Spin's "40 Best Albums Of 2009" -- "[With] gloriously heart-rending songs..."

Alternative Press (p.116) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "The 11 tracks on MARIACHI EL BRONX are downright ambitious in their execution."

CMJ - "In this new guise, the quintet soar off to Mexico, peppering the 111-track album with the Mexican genre's traditional whimsical, crescendoing trumpets, lighthearted violins and rhythms."
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