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Latin: Mariachi Rock: Garage Rock

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Three white men in pretend to be brown men from Australia, a triple-headed one-man-band playing wildly infectious mariachi-rock-n-roll with 3 drum kits and 3 guitars. Dirty Mexican music from down under, it’s the band that put the “EeOwwwwW! In MexicooOeW! Their debut album Queso Y Cojonesis a saddle full of western mariachi chaos and deep tendonitis rearing garage soul get-downs….


It’s a long way from Detroit to Mexico. With the exception of the occasional cultural and criminological coincidence- petrol-guzzling cars, illicit drug trafficking and liberal amounts of street violence- there’s not a lot to associate the decaying automotive capital of the US with the United States’ closest southern neighbor. And while the North American Free Trade Agreement might have strengthened economic ties between the two regions, the cultural leap is sufficient to seriously undermine any useful comparison.

Clearly, no-one’s bothered to tell Puta Madre Brothers. Puta Madre Brothers (like most gringo linguistic appropriations, the band’s name is stuff of profane schoolboy humour) take their predominant musical cue from Ennio Moricone-styled Mexicana, via Dick Dale’s school of surf guitar. What’s unique- apart from the band’s tri-one-man-band composition- is that Puta Madre Brothers are equally at home with a soul aesthetic native to the polluted banks of Lake Michigan.

It’s there from the moment the hip-shakin’ surf-soul groin grindin’ of Putananny Twist kicks into action, skip through to Toes Of A Dead Man and you’re lounging around contemplating romance in the fading shadows of urban murder and mayhem. Hold the moment, and there’s the rickety motorcycle sock-hop soundtack Soy Una Fruta, the sublime inebriated forbidden love of Never A Lady Named Louigi before the elegantly stylish It’s A Long Way To Meximotown finds Berry Gordon lounging around on a Mexican beach.

Amid all the mind shaking, genre bending stuff come a few moments of comical Mexicana garage, ranging from the 36 consecutive tequila shot insanity of The One Legged Horse (Race), the Mescalin-spiked surf coast madness of El Toro Bravo or the computer-aided recreational frivolity of Nintendo Con Queso (Nintendo With Cheese), Grandes Pelotas Del Fuego is akin to The Beach Boys buried under a mountain of guacamole and Grandes Pantelnes possesses hooks so sharp they probably contravene the average State Labor Government’s anti-weapon legislation.

Like the Mexican region’s notoriously toxic colourful fungi, Puta Madre Brothers are not to be taken lightly- the are a band to be respected.

Patrick Emery