Mariachi El Bronx / Pounded By The Surf [Live Review – The Boileroom, Guildford, 17/2/15]
LA hardcore band lives double life as a mariachi group. Sounds like sacrilege – until you bear in mind that hardcore pioneers Black Flag were experimenting with spoken word and jazz fusion as far back as 1984. Does purity belong in punk? More to the point, who the fuck cares as long as good music gets made and people get to express themselves however the hell they want? And when you consider that two of the world’s stuffiest artforms were interbred with the rawest form of punk over three decades ago, what’s the point in getting pissy over something as plainly badass as mariachi music?
Anyway…Pounded By The Surf took a more orthodox approach to style, cruising their way through an epic-length set of effortlessly cool instrumental surf tunes in the manner of Dick Dale & co. It felt like being transported into a Tarantino movie – only there were no gunfights, whippings, or people getting their ears cut off, and if there was a gimp present I assume he stayed locked in his box. Probably for the best, really.
Whether the fact of their existence makes you stick your nose in the air and turn your back or not, Mariachi El Bronx are undisputably badass. Get up close and personal in a way only small-scale shows can facilitate, and you’ll see there’s no doubting the sheer authenticity of a Mariachi El Bronx show. This isn’t a tongue-in-cheek pisstake – these guys have obviously invested a shit-ton of time into researching their adopted style, and getting to witness Mariachi El Bronx at the peak of tour-honed perfection is just something else.
More than anything, a Mariachi El Bronx show is simply an experience – a real, soulful, uplifiting, entertaining and ass-kicking experience. If you’ve never given yourself the chance to check it out, do it ASAP. For now, Mariachi El Bronx are hitting Cardiff tonight for the final date of their UK tour before heading back across the pond to serenade the US until it grows uncomfortably tumescent. Check out the links below for more info – and if you miss out this time around, don’t let it happen again!
All images ©Andrew Ford 2015.
Links / Video
Mariachi El Bronx tour dates can be found on their official website here.
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