Given that our current Republican presidential candidate regularly spews out racist bullshit about Mexico and the Alt-Right is a thing, I guess we were really due for a new Brujeria album. And on Pocho Aztlan (Nuclear Blast Entertainment), metal’s favorite Satanic drug lords are, for the most part, back to playing it fast and filthy.
How filthy, you say? Well, if you’re into placing nouns like “Progressive” or “Technical” ahead of your metal, then there’s the door. This is that Matando Gueros savagely lo-fi deathgrind with vocals that can only be properly described as flea market Barney Greenway. Some of the riffs may have been collecting dust in the great Fear Factory songbook and lyrically it’s Lloyd Kaufman’s vision of Tijuana. Sure most of you have likely left the room by now, but there was a niche market for this stuff in the 1990s.
And if I know anything about the 2010s is that people are nostalgic as fuck for the nineties. And nostalgia glasses be damned, Independence Day sucks and Reality Bites is annoying. So what I’m trying (loosely) to say is that musical sandblasts like ‘Satongo’ and ‘No Aceptan Imitaciones’ certainly will find a home in today’s metallic landscape. Same can be said for other rippers like ‘Profecia del Anticristo’ and the hilarious as it is brutal, ‘Mexico Campeon.’
Sure, there are bits like ‘Culpa la Mujer’ which slowly veers into annoyance, and slower more groove oriented tracks like ‘Codigos’ which has more in common with Static-X than Discharge riff-wise. And you can probably shave off a good ten minutes of run time. Do we honestly need a Brujeria song to last longer than 4 minutes?
I guess I’ll sum this all up with an extremely lazy analogy. Listening to Pocho Aztlan is like revisiting the taco stand of your adolescence. Sure the carnitas aren’t as good as you remember and the Tapatio isn’t as spicy, but the tortillas are still fresh and they’ve got barbacoa. What I’m left to ponder is can Pocho Aztlan conjure up the same controversy and aura that the aforementioned Matando Gueros did? The way that album made you feel upon first listen. It’s the same goosebumps you got when you listened to Mayhem or watched Evil Dead for the first time. And who can forget that album art?
If not, it’ll at least be nightmare fuel for your Trump supporting neighbor.