ALBUM OF THE DAY: BRUJERIA, MATANDO GUEROS
Back in 1993, music had not yet been ruined by the internet. Since information traveled through word of mouth and the postal system, it was much easier for a band to seem mysterious and larger than life than it is today, when you can see Jesse “Ripper” Owens’ Twitpics of him flying model airplanes with his daughters or whatever. The most notable example of that is, of course, the Norwegian black metal scene, but that never held much interest to me. For me and my friends who grew up on the West Coast listening to Suicidal Tendencies and Ice T, our cherished mythological metal band was Brujeria, and their 1993 LP Matando Gueros (literally means “Killing Honkeys”) was our version of Transylvanian Hunger.
As you can see from this news broadcast, people kind of thought Brujeria were actually Mexican drug lords. Also, LOL @ the voiceover guy’s accent
Fellow oldz will recall that Brujeria were marketed as a death metal band composed of Mexican drug dealers who were also immersed in the occult, human trafficking, and all kinds of other scary activities. Being 14 years old, I halfway believed it, because all we had to go on were rumors and hearsay passed around at shows. Needless to say, I was highly disappointed when I found out it was just Dino from Fear Factory with a revolving door lineup of supporting players from exceedingly non-metal bands like Faith No More and Down By Law, but the music was so great that I got over it.
“Desperado” could easily have been on the Excruciating Terror 7″
“Machetazos” is advanced-level primitive grind, none of this tech-death bullshit!
While they were largely thought of as a death metal band at the time, when I listen to them now, they sound a lot more like simplistic grind to me, more along the lines of a more polished Excruciating Terror or early Napalm Death — 0r more accurately, like the (fucking great) Fear Factory demo. And if you speak any Spanish (especially ghetto Mexican Spanish), the lyrics are some of the most absurd and hilarious ever written. There are way too many jokes to explain, but they are mostly a very tongue-in-cheek take on racial politics of Southern California, with a heavy dose of self-parody. For example, their label is called Kool Arrow, which said aloud sounds like “culero” (slang for “gay”) — I also like the lyrics to “Consejos Narcos,” which outlines the band’s philosophy on selling drugs — it goes something like “[sell drugs to] White people, yes! Blacks, yes! Latinos, no! Marijuana, yes! Cocaine, no!” It’s worth annoying a Spanish-speaking friend to translate the lyrics for you if you can’t read them yourself, they are pretty amazing.