Mariachi El Bronx, Metalachi and the Rise of Mariachi Fusion

Travel Blog  •  Jim Benning  •  07.29.11 | 11:17 AM ET

mariachisPhoto by jimaral via Flickr, (Creative Commons)

Is it just me or is mariachi-rock fusion a thing these days?

There’s Metalachi, which, as its name suggests, mixes heavy metal and mariachi. The combo has resulted in some intriguing songs, including an unlikely cover of Judas Priest’s “Breaking the Law.”

There’s Tucson-based Calexico, whose mariachi-infused rock is so evocative of the American southwest.

And now there’s Mariachi El Bronx, a side project of the Los Angeles punk band The Bronx. The group’s second mariachi album will be released Aug. 2, and it just earned a rave review from NPR.

Mariachi El Bronx sings in English and plays with more abandon than the typical buttoned-down folkloric mariachi ensemble. But its songs follow the strict conventions of the form to the letter.

When I heard the first Mariachi El Bronx record in 2009, it struck me as a bit of a clever gimmick—you know, dress a punk up in an elaborate charro suit and watch what happens. On II, inside the tales of lost love and other tragedies, there’s plenty of tradition balanced by shots of pure joy and irreverence. And that makes all the difference.

It sounds pretty good to my ear. Here’s a taste:



1 Comment for Mariachi El Bronx, Metalachi and the Rise of Mariachi Fusion

Neos Marmarasapartmani 07.30.11 | 3:55 AM ET

Wow, Metalachi is a great tip. They sound fresh and creative. I can imagine them on a local festival. Would be a gig

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