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Mariachi El Bronx (II)
Mariachi El Bronx Mariachi El Bronx (II)
Released 12 September 2011

John Avila,
Mariachi El Bronx
Label Wichita
Length 44:41
Genre Mariachi
Website www.mariachielbronx.com

As strange as it might sound this is hardcore punk band The Bronx's fifth studio album and second turn at mariachi music. Working under the new appellation Mariachi El Bronx is less punk / mariachi fusion (oh what a horrible combination that would be) and more straight up mariachi! Not as strange a defection as you might think for the Los Angeles born band who grew up with a lot of south of the border influences with Mexican inflections permeating the radio and streets.

While their first outing in mariachi attire might have been regarded as something of a novelty the second defines the project as much more, seriously widening their musical remit to encompass a larger range of Latin American melodies (including bolero and cumbia).

The album is full of rising, rousing, extravagant arrangements that sound almost orchestral in an intersection of Ennio Morricone and something you might here on the airwaves. Frontman Max Caughtran's voice is a satisfactory accompaniment but plays second fiddle to the trills, spills and mariachi and I often lost lyrical focus in favour of immersing myself in the heady intoxicating music.

While Mariachi El Bronx is undoubtably an accomplished venture from people who are very serious about their music, I found it difficult to get completely fully on board and I don't really know how or why I'd spend time repeat listening to an album in this musical genre. The possibilities for soundtracking might be vast but otherwise maybe I just haven't found myself in a mariachi mood as of yet?

I couldn't possibly give this less than half marks but at the same time I can't see the CD wearing out from use.

- Cormac O’Brien