I love Mexican hardcore-punk from the 80's. Now, I know you probably don't really care about what I happen to love, and that's fair enough. But I really do love the Mexican sound and anyone into raw hardcore punk should give it a chance. This post is therefore my personal attempt to promote this style because I feel like I am on a mission to spread good punk music (and I also have ego problems).
"Raw punk" seems to be a rather trendy word these days and it is usually associated with those old hardcore punk bands that had a rough and ready sound and all the newer bands trying to imitate them. In general, Mexico is pretty much absent from the "raw punk" map and that's a real shame because not only did the 80's Mexican scene produced many absolutely ferocious band sonically, but they also epitomized what punk-rock is really about: primal, youthful, untamed, unadulterated anger. From what I can gather, Mexican hardcore-punk really kicked off in the mid to late 80's with classic bands like Massacre 68, Histeria, Atoxxxico, Xenofobia, SS-20, Solucion Mortal, Sedicion or Herejia. Those bands quickly developped a sound of their own, fast, crude and very energetic, from which later bands like Coprofilia or Fallas del Sistema would grow. While not the most famous or prolific, Muerte En La Industria (MELI) probably did one of the most potent recordings the genre has to offer in the guise of the 1988 demo entitled "Tu vida".
MELI were from Mexico City and only released the one demo. The cd we are interested in to day contains their 1988 demo and a live track from 1989. This cd is a 2006 Mexican reissue but there is another reissue that Japanese label Speedstate records did in 2005 with added live tracks from 2000 as MELI reformed at some point. Unfortunately, there is very little information about MELI in the booklet and I am not sure it is even the original artwork, but you have got to love the title as it translates as "Don't let them exploit you, whithout you they are nothing" which gives an idea of the band's lyrics. The demo was made up of 13 songs and they are as punk as you can get. MELI played fast and distorted hardcore punk and they certainly had this typical Mexican sound like Massacre 68, which was basically an even more primal version of Chaos UK or Disorder, as the specific drum rolls and the distorted guitar sound suggest. The demo also echoes Spanish hardcore bands like Antidogmatikss and IV Reich, English bands like Instant Agony, Death Sentence or Legion of Parasites, South American pioneers like Ratos de Porao, Olho Seco from Brazil and Autopsia, Ataque Frontal, Descontrol from Peru and noisy bands like Confuse, Siekiera or EU's Arse. To be fair though, I have no idea whether MELI were actually influenced by them or had even heard of them (the live song being a IV Reich cover, it is safe to say they were into Spanish hardcore and there is 5" bootleg released in 1989 in Mexico that has MELI as well as Confuse and Tervet Kadet on it... how strange is that!). I would argue that MELI manages to sound even more pissed off than M68 as the vocals sound just so angry and desperate and reflect both disillusionment and anger. In other terms, this is rabioso as fuck.
The sound is decent considering it is a demo and it has this roughness and spontaneity that make Mexican punk-rock so good. Unfortunately the lyrics are not included, which is something I just don't understant in reissues. But after doing some research and guessing from the titles of the song, MELI didn't sing about heartbreaks. As young punks, they were angry at the government's corruption, police violence, religion, the army, the class system, nationalism, well, society as a whole really. I really cannot recommend this demo enough as it is a crucial unealthy slice of punk-rock. The last on the cd is a live cover of IV Reich's classic "No al ejercito", a song that must have gone great with the army and police.
I totally agree about Raw Punk being the word of the day and also agree that its a crying shame that Mexico doesnt get the proper respect it deserves. The Masacre 68/Histeria split is Raw Punk at its BEST!!! And THANK YOU for this, Ive been looking for it for a long time!!ReplyDelete
Absolutely. I suppose if those bands had been from Japan, people would go nuts about them. In fact, if one digs a bit deeper, there were quite a few bands in Latino America with this kind of raging, punk as fuck sound in the 80's.ReplyDelete
Oh well, what do we know, Mexican punk could be the next trend and we will have bands from all over trying to mimic them with monikers like Massacre 47 or Muerte En La Sociedad.
HEY THANX TO YOU ALL SALUD D germen, 0-[-[ReplyDelete
It's ridiculous to compare this to bands like Confuse or D-Clone. This is much worse.
A D-Clone comparison would be irrelevant of course, however, in terms of intent (fast and brutal, primitive, Bristol-styled hardcore punk), the Confuse comparison is not preposterous. The production and aesthetics, because of the varying contexts, are very different, to be sure, but I stand by the statement that bands like MELI or M68 epitomised the concept of "raw punk" like few bands ever could.Delete