Banda Los Recoditos has made a career of wild party songs fueled by alcohol and sex. We should all be so lucky. Now the Remex label has gotten in on the act with a new-ish band of merrymakers, Banda La Contagiosa, whose album La Fiesta Perfecta rang in el año nuevo. Founded in 2012, their Facebook page describes them as “Banda 100% sinaloense de musicos experimentados,” but I don’t hear the experimentation. They make everything go down so easy. The title singleis pleasantly quick, as is the duet with ex-Tigre del Norte and current mustache consultant Raúl Hernández. There’s also a cover of Codigo FN’s(and Recodo’s, and MS’s, and Ariel Camacho’s…) “Me Gustas Mucho,” and the whole thing ends with a token big dumb cumbia. “Efectos de Alcohol” — the main effect is that Banda La Contagiosa gets laid — is this week’s Pick to Click on the strength of some dramatic octave leaps in the chorus and a video that celebrates the visual glory of creation. Like most hangovers, este album es VALE LA PENA.
Bandera Negra (“Black Flag”) has returned after four years with a smattering of indie corridos. Their Mini Disco 2015 (Bandera Negra) talks negocios through a series of six loping midtempo waltzes, while their single “El Rubio” pays tribute to el Hijo del Ingeniero, a cartel figure NorteñoBlog hastily Googled the last time he showed up in a song. Accordion and bajo sexto interplay is nonstop, but listening to all seven songs at once, the effect is about as monotonous as a typical workday in the cartel. (I’m guessing.)
Given his productivity, it should come as no surprise that NorteñoBlog has missed El Komander product left and right. I sheepishly direct you to the fine December single “El Chef de las Cocinas”, where Sr. Ríos introduces us to his stove, and to his promising compilation El Komander 2015 Top 20 (Twiins), containing 21 highlights from the last several albums, including the two previously uncollected and really good singles “Hoy Toca” and “La Tacoma.” It does not, however, contain “El Chef de las Cocinas” or the October single “28 Abriles (Caro Quintero)”. This game of Komander catch-up will never end.
If all that sex, alcohol, meth cooking, and cartel ogling leaves you seeking atonement, Mexican pop singer Beatriz Adriana has a new self-released synthpop album dedicated to the Blessed Virgin. Canto a Nuestra Madre de la Merced (BA Productions) is very slow, but so is meditation and devotion, you heartless cynic. (I’m not sure how to fit Adriana’s arsenal of synth flute presets into the form-follows-function equation.) Adriana may be best known for her 1987 ranchera pop hit “La Luna Sera La Luna”; in any case, a couple of these tunes, namely the co-ed duet “San Pedro Nolasco” and the lightly drummed “Maria de la Libertad,” are lovely.
Go in peace and remember the poor.