“Your people call it Korn, but we call it ‘Maiz’.” This collection of “rock en español” artists leans heavily towards the heavily rhythmic. Of course, with typical south-of-the-border ingenuity, this far outstrips the chug-by-numbers approach of the latest batch of metal/rap/hardcore bands. Even the band names — Peyote Asesino, Chicle Atomico, Control Machete — display more energy than their American counterparts. Control Machete’s straight-outta-barrio hip-hop style will make you wonder just what the hell is going on in Mexico. Chicle Atomico sounds like a guitarist, a drum machine, and a pissed-off riot-chica way in the front, dredging up issues of racial and sexual oppression.
Not everything is mean and nasty, though. Banana Hammock’s short and very sweet “Cuñado” reminds me of They Might Be Giants in a very odd way. Brujeria take one of the most awful Latin disco dance hits ever, strip it naked, roll it in manure, and make it dance in the middle of the street as “Don Quijote Marijuana”. What’s that burbling sound? Crack open that chain wallet and lay out the dinero for this one, compadre.
Kool Arrow Records, 5902 Monterey Road, #666, Los Angeles, CA 90042