Returning to the YouTube channel of the jet-setting, tiger-smooching promoter Beto Sierra, NorteñoBlog has stumbled across the perfect song to play as you’re ending the school year. (Besides “School’s Out,” I mean. You know who sings “School’s Out” and thinks it’s cool? Fourth graders.) From the Baja Californian sextet Grupo Recluta comes “El Estudiante” (Sitio), a tongue twisting song of familial love and visiting abuelo for the summer, enjoying soccer and tacos. The narrator’s name is Alfredo, nickname Carrillo, and he introduces us to a few friends — Gustavo, Francisco, and Jorge Arturo — whom he can count on one hand. Unless “Jorge Arturo” is the name of a school or a jefe. Standard translation caveats apply.
Here’s what I can tell you for sure: the music is astonishing. While the band bounds along like they’re waltzing through a jacked up version of The King and I, songwriter/leaders Manuel Rodelo and David Correa harmonize their way through a melody full of tricky syncopated subdivisions. They’re the two hotshots swing dancing in the center of the ballroom, garnering the adoration of women and the resentment of men. The other hotshot is the accordion player, curiously unmentioned in Grupo Recluta’s promotional literature and reluctant to show his face in the video. In any case, Pick to Click:
No strangers to the academic life, Recluta also cut a charming call-and-response song called “De Libros a Libretas,” in which they graduate from their academic books to their street-smart notebooks. (Need a summer job? Recluta’ll hook you up.) Neither song appears on their current album Plata O Plomo, whose title track isn’t a Soulfly cover but might cover the same lyrical territory. 24 songs, all but a handful under three minutes, I’m guessing describing some of the less taxable job prospects for new grads, and it kicks off with some tremendous drumming. And look! — there’s the accordion player on the album cover, second from the left. All the boys making all that noise ’cause they found new toys.