In Rotation: Mariachi El Bronx’s ‘Mariachi El Bronx (II)’


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Among the local acts that debuted in 2009, few seemed less likely to stick around than this mariachi-devoted offshoot of the Bronx, one of L.A.’s crankiest punk groups. Earlier this month, though, Mariachi El Bronx released its sophomore full-length, and this fall the outfit is scheduled to tour North American arenas with the Foo Fighters, including two dates at the Forum October 13 and 14. What’s more, the new album improves upon the debut; instead of unmasking a gimmick, it reveals better songwriting and stronger playing.

In opener “48 Roses” frontman Matt Caughthran ponders the ramifications of an open relationship. (“My heart is not crazy, it’s just too complex,” he insists, “A man with four different lovers, you don’t get much rest.”) Later, “Map of the World” shows off some truly gorgeous string and horn work. The upshot is a kind of relocation for Mariachi El Bronx, from Ideaville to Bandland.

Mariachi El Bronx
“Mariachi El Bronx (II)”


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--Mikael Wood