Review + Photos: With Mariachi El Bronx as Foreplay, The Bronx Seduces With Aggression at Pop's, Monday, April 12

Apr 13, 2010 at 11:03 am

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Mariachi El Bronx last night at Pop's in Sauget, Illinois. See the full slideshow here. - Photo: Todd Owyoung
Photo: Todd Owyoung
Mariachi El Bronx last night at Pop's in Sauget, Illinois. See the full slideshow here.

Spin-off, one-off, adopted persona -- whatever it is, it's not a farce, and the Bronx take its Mexican music en serio. By the standards of traditional mariachi, Mariachi El Bronx may fall short, but the band's willingness -- charro suits and all -- to rub shoulders with such music was admirable, and a lot of fun. Given what would happen later, Mariachi El Bronx was the compliment that vice paid to virtue.

Dead Country last night at Pop's in Sauget, Illinois. See the full slideshow here. - Photo: Todd Owyoung
Photo: Todd Owyoung
Dead Country last night at Pop's in Sauget, Illinois. See the full slideshow here.

Another California outfit, Dead Country, started the concert. A new band, its song "Euro Thrash" has been pushed by Los Angeles tastemaker station KROQ. That song was characteristic of the set: layered guitars, agreeable harmonies, all more grown-up and better arranged than is usual for such mainstream pop-punk.

Violent Soho last night at Pop's in Sauget, Illinois. See the full slideshow here. - Photo: Todd Owyoung
Photo: Todd Owyoung
Violent Soho last night at Pop's in Sauget, Illinois. See the full slideshow here.

Unfrozen from a cryogenic chamber time-sealed in Seattle at the end of 1991, Violent Soho played a string of songs that plopped out like nuggets from a well-fibered horse. If period-specific grunge is the band's lodestar, Violent Soho is blind to its thrashing excesses, deaf to its more egregious musicianship -- and not a great endorsement for its resurrection.