mariachi el bronxWay back in December on the eve of the brand new Bronx record Bronx III, frontman Matt Caughthran told me in an interview about a mariachi record the band had recorded concurrently with Bronx III. At SXSW this past March, Kip and I witnessed a very special Mariachi El Bronx performance in which the band performed a full mariachi set in full mariachi garb, and it was nothing short of spectacular. And finally 5 months later we get to hear said mariachi record (listen on MySpace), which came out yesterday. Reports Noisecreep:

The idea to release an entire album’s worth of authentic mariachi music came to the Bronx following an on-air appearance they did for Fuel TV. “It was kind of an acoustic thing,” says Caughthran. “The treatment for rock bands doing acoustic music is so horrible, and so generic. And it was something that we really wanted to stray away from. So we got some friends involved and did a mariachi version of ‘Dirty Leaves.’ And when we did that — the transformation, creatively — it was super inspiring, and it was something that we wanted to explore further.”

Guitarist Joby Ford and Caughthran began working on mariachi tunes, coming up with melodies and lyrics. “Before you knew it, we had three or four songs in one day. It happened real organically, and it started taking off and snowballing, and we kind of just went from there.”

The Bronx had to do some research on mariachi music before recording the tracks, the singer says. “We had a basic knowledge and an inspiration there for the music ourselves, but for the first time in our creative lifestyles, there were actual rules,” explains Caughthran. “There’s no rules in punk music. You just plug in and make as much noise as you can. In mariachi music, there’s definite rules … there are rhythms you have to obey and things you have to do right, or else you can’t call it mariachi, and you’ll just look like an a–hole.”

I actually haven’t heard the record yet but I’m beyond psyched for it. The SXSW Mariachi El Bronx performance was a truly special experience — there was an energy between the band and the crowd, a mutual excitement, that you just don’t see at many shows. Above and beyond the WTF factor of a punk band performing mariachi music, the tunes and execution were both fantastic — you could tell The Bronx really worked hard to get it right, and get it right they did. Mariachi El Bronx is available for order for only $12, or as part of a bundle with the band’s own “Barrio Sweat” cologne for $29 — seriously. Someone needs to order the cologne and tell us what it’s like, just because.


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