septima bandaThe members of La Séptima Banda have applied their fleet fingers to corridos, love songs (“Se Va Muriendo Mi Alma”), and stuff that sounds like Tower of Power playing the Sahara Tahoe (“Bonito y Bello”). They’re back with the 10-song A Todo Volumen (Fonovisa), which contains the first two options. The bouncy romance “Me Empezó A Valer” has already become a radio hit, and it’s not hard to imagine their stacked brass chords capping a weekend of Vegas debauchery. Even better is “A La Orden General,” their ode to the Guzman family, who I’m guessing have developed some Vegas acreage over the years. Side note: A Todo Volumen is also the Spanish title of that one Jack White/The Edge/Jimmy Page documentary, as well as Luis Coronel’s nickname for his latest hairdo.

bryndisAlso on Fonovisa and purportedly even more romantic, the formerly prolific hitmakers Grupo Bryndis have a new album of synth cumbias called A Nuestro Estilo. In its favor: a duet with Diana Reyes; a cover of a decade-old Diana Reyes song, “Celos”; a synthesizer sound that only sometimes reminds me of the guys selling pan flute CDs at the local craft fair. In its disfavor: plodding rhythms, pitch issues, and, yes, suffocating craft fair synth presets. Unlike duranguense bands, who speed along with the good sense to turn their chintzy synths into an ever-shifting kaleidoscope of wackness, the men of Bryndis mean to seduce. If you know what’s good for you, you’ll avoid eye contact and make a beeline for the Home Grown Honey tent.

gallitosNot to be confused with the Tejano pop of Texas band Los Gallitos, the trio Los Gallitos de Chihuahua hails from the next state to the south and plays accordion-led Sierreño music. (Bassist, no tuba.) Their umpteenth album Soy de Rancho (Twiins) features corridos popularized by Los Alegres del Barranco, Tito Torbellino, Sergio Vega, and on the title song El Komander, though Los Gallitos’ take is much more polite than that of Sr. Ríos and his loosey-goose band. You don’t know how much you’ll miss tuba mouthpiece farts until they’re gone.

dueto consentidoThe far more energetic Sierreño dudes Dueto Consentido have just released their second album, Cambio de Domicilio (AfinArte). As NorteñoBlog noted with their last album, Dueto Consentido is not a duo but a Sierreño trio, led by Joaquin Caro’s requinto guitar. (Bassist, no tuba — but Erik Lopez gets a fat sound.) Their name is a phrase that shows up in corridos from time to time. “Consentido” is a cartel term of art meaning a narco boss who operates with the favor and consent of the Mexican government. Not so sure about the “dueto” part — I guess they often come in pairs? The three musical Consentidos do their share of corridos — their ode to Iván Archivaldo Guzman flatters its subject with seriously hot licks — but they also branch out into charming songs of besos y amor, like “Dame Más”. Still, you can’t beat the snarling energy of the corrido “El Tigre,” where the guitars lock in and Lopez coaxes extremely cool tones from his axe’s growly bottom end.
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Dueto Consentido photo by Nelssie Carillo