Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Album Review: Pinata Protest -El Valiente

Pinata Protest 
El Valiente
***and1/2 out of *****

Combining Norteno and Ranchera music with punk rock may not sound like an easy fit but the San Antonio based Pinata Protest make it seem as if the genres were always linked. On their new album El Valiente the group has a fun time quickly (the whole disk is under 25 minutes) working their way through Mexican flavored tunes in a Texas punk way.

Beginning with an electro-sounding intro that seems styled after a boxer introduction the group dives into mixing languages and styles successfully on "Vato Perron". "Life On the Border" focuses heavily on the accordion play and lyrically discusses the issues facing Mexican-American youth living in that area. "Tomorrow, Today" is a waltzing two-step while "Guadalupe" plays like a straight up rock tune that just happens to feature and accordion.

The title track recalls another genre twisting band at their peak, Sublime.  With it's speed and changes "El Valiente" has touches of the So-Cal groups "Date Rape" in there as well as other bits and pieces from the band.     

Pinata Protest also decided to tackle two staples of their sound/heritage with a speedy run through of "La Cucaracha" and "Volver, Volver" which really works well. Playing with a classic like "Volver, Volver"and adding that vibrant punk rock feel and power (via a crushing ending) is the perfect snapshot of this band with one foot in tradition and the other stampeding forward.  

"Que Pedo" ends the disk with a quick burst of straight up punk rock making the whole thing feel like it is over too fast, but what a fun ride.    

Dug the album just kind of wish there was more.  Playing like an extended EP, El Valiente is a good intro into the Pinata Protest sound, here's hoping they make it to NYC so we can catch these suckers live as that is where they really seem to flourish.

Support the Band here, catch them live here and peep some samples below.
"La Cucaracha"
  "La Cucaracha" - Official Music Video - Piñata Protest from Piñata Protest on Vimeo.
"La Cucaracha" Live:

"Volver, Volver" Live

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