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Los Ramones de Nuevo Leon

Get Off My Lawn With That Accordion!

los ramones

You know how it is — you feel like throwing on some real street, gritty corridos and you’re bobbing your head as the first couple accordion notes start to sound off. Then you hear what appears to be a 6-year-old kid singing about the hit squad he belongs to and how prepared he is to battle his enemies.

I like a great narcocorrido as much as the next guy, but whenever I hear a little kid crooning about bazookas and assault rifles, it rubs me the wrong way, I don’t respond to it with approval, instead all I can think of is “Where are your parents?!”

Well, it turns out, more than likely, his parents are right beside their little protégé belting out the latest corrido. Now . . I don’t want to sound like a hater, But! I just can’t vibe to the song if the singer sounds like El Chavo del Ocho.

Songs like “El Mal Ejemplo” by Calibre 50 only have the young kid singing for a couple seconds, but it just doesn’t sound right. To Calibre 50’s credit, the song is about a father realizing he is setting a bad example for his son and decides to teach him the right way in life. But still, I’ll pass.

Another example is “En Preparacion,” sung by Nachito Hernandez, the son of veteran corridista Nacho Hernandez. The thought of a kid singing about waging war against a rival cartel is too much to believe. I’m sure it wasn’t meant to be taken seriously but when you have a kid singing this type of song it feels like a gimmick and filler for the album.

It doesn’t mean Kid singers can’t do the job right. Take for example Los Ramones de Nuevo Leon, a four-piece band of young singers, who came out two years ago with a rendition of “Flor Hermosa,” one of the best versions I have heard in a while. Their singing style and use of instruments is superb and their voices just keep getting better and better each year. Basically, when you listen to them, you feel the same way after eating some of your mom’s lasagna on a bitterly cold night… satisfied!

¡Nuevo! (starring Trakalosa and Alfredo Olivas)

trakalosa uresti

We’ll start with esta semana’s pick to click, and it’s a weeper. It turns out Edwin Luna, lead singer of La Trakalosa de Monterrey, is very convincing portraying un “Adicto a la Tristeza.” It helps that his voice chimes like a throaty bell. Luna’s labelmate and guest singer, Pancho Uresti from Banda Tierra Sagrada, is somewhat less convincing because his voice is scratchy. When the woman in the video spurns his advances, he’ll feel nothing and should be able to pick up pretty easily with someone else. I myself am addicted to the urgency of their chorus melody, and a quarter-million Youtube viewers in the past two days seem to agree.

Other newish singles include Hijos de Barrón’s “Mis Quimeras” (LNG/Hyphy), featuring cool bass work and a syncopated groove;

“Así Es el Juego,” an underwhelming cover of Colmillo Norteño‘s profane kiss-off (in a couple senses), by Luis y Julián Jr. ft. Naty Chávez. It’s available in both obscene and family-friendly versions!;

and I’m not sure if this counts, but Graciela Beltrán throws herself into a new ballad, “Qué Tal Se Siente,” and it’s good to hear her voice.

The big new album this week is Alfredo Olivas’s El Privilegio (Sahuaro/Sony), which originally seemed to have come out late last year but maybe it was leaked. Olivas is an alumnus of several labels, including Fonovisa and the aforementioned Hyphy, here making his Sony debut. He’s also written songs for big names, so maybe Sony sees in his boyish grin the next Gerardo Ortiz?

The quintet Los Ramones de Nuevo Leon’s Con La Rienda Suelta (Grupo RMS) exists, as does a new retrospective from hyphy floggers (and Hyphy alums) Los Amos de Nuevo Leon, 20 Éxitos (Mar).

And I’m confused about Hyphy alums Los Rodriguez de Sinaloa — didn’t they just put out an album? Well, there’s another one out there called Entre El Rancho y La Ciudad (Independent), which so far seems more energetic than Sr. Olivas’s album.

What’s that? — you’re worried Hyphy music is under represented? — very well, the trio Los Kompitaz released 12 Corridos y Canciones at the end of 2014.

Accordionist, singer, businessman, and crier of single tears Fidel Rueda releases Música del Pueblo on his own Rueda label. His latest single “No Te Vayas” has stuttering accordion and horn lines that sound like they’re fighting to squeeze through his tear ducts.

Feeling romantic and/or cash-starved, Fonovisa has released it’s annual Bandas Románticas de América comp, which last year sucked. As companion pieces, they’ve compiled 20 Kilates Románticos for a bunch of groups, including Recodo, Primavera, Bryndis, Bukis — you know, groups who have never been compiled before.

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