Ay Ay Ay 4!
Last time I heard Alto Monte, it was on Viva Los Vegans!, an import-only compilation of the burgeoning Mexican mariachi-core scene. I’d never heard anything like Alto Monte’s intense combination of traditional mariachi band values with make-do Mexican punk rock ingenuity. Miking their acoustic instruments with condenser microphones ripped out of liberated boomboxes, and dressing in carefully tattered matching suits, Alto Monte’s single track, “La Puta Migra,” (a updated cover of the classic Los Patos tune) was an anthem to world justice and straightedge values.
Apparently, a lot has happened since then — the track was recorded three years before the compilation came out, and the band now calls Orlando home. Ay Ay Ay 4! keeps with the politically active nature of the band, but discards all pretense at traditional hardcore. In a massive barrage of sound, the band blares out pulsating wave of raw noise that obliterates all meaning to lyrics, to the point that I can’t even tell if they’re singing in English or Spanish. An interesting twist, especially given Alto Monte’s propensity to clear room in the sound spectrum for the occasional trumpet solo or bajo sexto run. Worth hearing, and I’d imagine the band is quite worth checking out live. Mecha Records, 1223 Calle Pollo, Mixtetlan, Mexico