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Mariachi El Bronx: III

LA punk ragers head south of the border once more

There’s something oddly amusing about Mariachi El Bronx. Is it the fact that their breezily upbeat and joyful music is made by the same people that scream so furiously about shitty futures in their day job as The Bronx?

Or that this band that, on paper, should be a one-album curio have made it to their third release and almost commercially outstripped said day job? Or is it just that trumpets and clippy-cloppy Mexican music are somehow inherently funny?

Whatever the reason, Mariachi El Bronx will make you smile. This isn’t the heaviest album you’ll find in these pages, but you’d have to be a very sombre individual to not be seduced by the gentle sway of Nothing’s Changed or the bum-shaking finger-click of opener New Beat.

Expertly written, performed and produced, III’s lush strings and rich brass add warmth to the subtle vocals of Matt Caughthran. Amusing: yes. Joke band: certainly not. Mariachi El Bronx are too good for that./o:p

Since blagging his way onto the Hammer team a decade ago, Stephen has written countless features and reviews for the magazine, usually specialising in punk, hardcore and 90s metal, and still holds out the faint hope of one day getting his beloved U2 into the pages of the mag. He also regularly spouts his opinions on the Metal Hammer Podcast.