Double J Pick of the Week
Mariachi El Bronx, the quieter offshoot of brash and brazen Los Angeles punks The Bronx, has been considered something of a novelty by some fans. It would be rude to deny the band’s genuine passion for the mariachi genre, particularly now that they’re set to release third LP III, and Wildfires indicates that perhaps they are looking to be taken a little more seriously.
Musically Wildfires does not stray far from the Mariachi El Bronx fare we heard on the first two records; a highly polished take on mariachi music with grandiose strings, horns and percussion. What is an interesting point of difference is the openness in the deeply personal lyrics of vocalist Matt Caughthran. The wildfires he sings about here are a metaphor for something far more personal.
“That song is about being driven by something that’s stronger and darker than yourself,” Caughthran told the Wall Street Journal earlier this week.
With lyrics like “lovers turn to dust”, “a part of me has died” and “paranoia is blowin’ in the breeze”, you can sense whatever was driving him was pretty nasty.
Whether or not you agree with the concept of the band – charro suits and all – and despite your thoughts about Mariachi El Bronx as an outlet for such personal confessions, it’s great to see the band trying something slightly new on Wildfires and hopefully the rest of III will push the envelope further.