Sorry for skipping the week’s new releases — they look like mostly exitos and live albums anyway — but I’ve been too busy getting BLOWN AWAY by La Nueva Rebelión’s stunning two-week-old album Me Hicieron Mas Fuerte. (La Nueva Rebelión approved this metaphor.) I know I compare norteño bands, in particular Noel Torres’s maelstroms, to rock groups a lot, maybe more than is healthy for an old gringo; but Rebelión invite the comparison. Just listen to the title single, with its rock chords and the second singer’s strained-neck melismas, and tell me it doesn’t rock harder than… wait, who was supposed to have rocked this year? Don’t say Foo Fighters. Don’t say Five Finger Death Punch either. If you said Behemoth or Against Me! I’d have to think about it.

This discovery, along with the hurried reshuffling it required of my year-end lists, made me decide to hunt for other albums I (and you?) have overlooked. I’ll be helped in this quest by Fonovisa’s Invasión Del Corrido 2014 disc.

For instance, Remmy Valenzuela! How’d I miss him? An album cover that gorgeous and steely gray doesn’t come along every day. “Te Tocó Perder” is a tempo-switching almost-jam, and on title track “De Alumno A Maestro” his fingers whirl like the wind. His voice blares like some obnoxious horn. These are good things. Remmy Valenzuela approved these similes.

Grupo 360 — styled “Grupo TR3S60,” which shouldn’t be confused with the computer I got from Radio Shack in 1985 — sound way too goony and nice to have any relation to the bullet scarred thug in their “Neto Roca” video. Their album Dos Jovenes Muchachos came out back in May, and presumably someone noticed.

More catching up to come!

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