Lo siento, faithful readers. NorteñoBlog has been out of it for the past few months, mired in the wilds of bro-country, Christian rock, King’s X, Pulitzer Prizes, Selena (um, watch this space), and rap songs about cheap-ass wine. Not to mention general garden maintenance. The blog heartily recommends Sugar Rush Peach peppers, which produced like motherfuckers all season long. Use them to liven up your big salads and gangland torture scenarios.
To get caught up, we turn to the Spotify playlist Novedades Regional Mexicano. Let’s rate these puppies until we stop!
Grupo Equis ft. Grupo H-100 – “Mas Sabe el Diablo” (Alianza single)
Grupo Equis is a quartet of leather-clad youngsters with a couple singles to their credit; Grupo H-100 is a somewhat more prolific quintet whose gruff, affectless lead singer sounds like a sociopath. (H-100’s album of narco tributes Trankis Morris came out earlier this year on Alianza, and would require a morning of Hasty Cartel Googling to plumb its lyrical depths.) Put ’em together and you have this high-spirited workout for battling clusters of 16th notes, with cymbals spattering across the sonic canvas like gunfire. This year the blog has been digging Vomitor’s death-thrash-WRAWWWR album Pestilent Death, and these guys seem just as diabolical. Pick to Click!
T3R Elemento – “Ojitos de Conejo” (from the DEL album The Green Trip)
Young Kristopher Nava, the McLovin’ of the corridos verdes movement, considers the opthalmological effects of excessive weed consumption on “Ojitos de Conejo,” a decent accordion-laced waltz from the boys’ DEL Records debut, out today. DEL honcho Ángel del Villar never met a trend he couldn’t exploit, so signing T3R Elemento — a young, bilingual group of stoners — seems like a natural. Cursory listening suggests The Green Trip might be better than last year’s Underground, even if distinguishing one midtempo weed anthem from another isn’t the easiest task in the world. The tuba’s spiky, the sierreño guitar leads are interesting enough, and the boys attempt to market the catchphrase “El Verde es Vida” — it even pops up in this bunny eyes song. Really, though, the song to check out is previous single “En Menos de un Minuto,” with its soaring melody and creepy computer animated video featuring, like, clocks and space aliens and shit. VALE LA PENA
Grupo Corrupta – “El Phoenix” (Anakin single)
Fouling the clean ocean breezes of San Diego is the quartet Grupo Corrupta, a bass-bottomed sierreño combo whose one bespectacled member alternately resembles Jonah Hill or E-40 peering over his glasses. True to those doppelgangers, these guys have also dropped a couple corridos verdes joints, notably “Relatos de un Marihuano” and “El Niño Grifo,” both from their 2018 Anakin album La Maleta. While generally competent, the band doesn’t have anything to make it stand out from the current glut of pothead guitarists working the same stylistic corner — no distinctive vocal timbres, no especially virtuoso lead lines, not even a tuba. NO VALE LA PENA
Like everyone else in their latitude and lower, Grupo Corrupta does have a cover of Marco Antonio Solís‘s classic “Navidad Sin Ti.” If you like close vocal dissonances or jamming toothpicks under your fingernails, it’s worth a listen. Otherwise, get yr Sad Christmas fix from the version by blog faves Banda Cuisillos, which has synths, chimes, possibly synth-chimes, blaring brass, and — I think — the exquisitely bereft yelp of Ernesto Ruiz , Cuisillos’ lead singer who was murdered shortly before the song dropped last fall. VALE LA PENA y D.E.P.
La Original Banda El Limón – “Dile Que Te Dije Yo” (self-released single)
From the wretched pen of Pancho Picadientes comes this tale of a faithless mujer and the bro who can’t let her go. Possibly resenting the success of their cladistic cousins La Arrolladora Banda — both sprang from the common ancestor Banda el Limón sometime in the late Triassic — these guys are angling for a bigger audience. They have three fresh-faced young vocalists who, according to bandleader Juan Lizárraga, are energetic, honorable, honest, and clean of any calculating sentiments. Can’t wait to watch The Youth go ape. NO VALE LA PENA