Mariachi el Bronx – Mariachi el Bronx II
What made Mariachi el Bronx’s debut such an intriguing listen was just how accomplished it was, especially given the style’s untried nature for the Californian hardcore quintet otherwise known as The Bronx. As a follow-up, there are obvious improvements in musicianship but the biggest leap has been in how well they have adapted to mariachi songwriting, capturing the fiery vitality of Mexican spirit while retaining a smidgen of their punk roots via Matt Caughthran’s heartily uplifting vocals.
There’s a definite air of the spaghetti western to Map of the World thanks to its invigorating blasts of trumpet and strings that carry the song like a desert wind, and the sense of drama is heightened by Matador’s ode to tragic heroics and 48 Roses’ foot-stomping flamenco interlude. If there’s anyone still out there who tagged this project as a novelty, there’re twelve reasons right here to abandon that opinion to the dust where it belongs; these are true canciones de mariachi! [David Bowes]