147

Los Mocosos: American Us

Javier AQ Ortiz By

Sign in to view read count
Los Mocosos: American Us San Francisco's Los Mocosos is one of the West Coast's Hispanic hybrid musical groups liable to mix an assortment of musical styles into its formula. Unlike, say, Steve Coleman's attempts at mingling Afro-Cuban music with jazz—which yielded superimposed musical elements, rather than a unified whole—this group can and does mix seemingly disparate musical genres and styles, thus creating its own musical character in the process. American Us is its third release and by far the mellowest and most radio-friendly. Of necessity, however, that ought not to frighten actual or potential listeners away.



Los Mocosos' musical lure encompasses combinations such as doo-wop-skassified-reggae-rap—as on "Hey Mama. "Volvieron is a simple, steady, tasty, and youthful self-promoting cha featuring sax, keyboards, and timbales soli with a keyboard figure at the end that sounds inspired by Ray Barretto's "Cocinando from his landmark salsa album ¡Qué viva la música! Miami Beach's gay club scene could very well serve as backdrop for a video clip of "Amigos y Amantes because of its vocal theme—a paean to forbidden love—and its "freely-shake-your-firm-'n-round-ass beat and effects. The corny merengue opener, however, is a throwaway cut.



Party-fun 'n' games ain't all Los Mocosos are about. They have always expressed their particular opinions on social and political matters such as immigration, the North American political landscape, and racism. This time, "Genius and "Señor Presidente are cases in point. The former is a contagious, steady-beat, funky, cumbia-esque, mid-tempo exhortation to use one's reasoning capacities—it's laden with very good intentions, but the arguments offer little substance. For example, they preserve the false notions that we only use a portion of our brain—akin to the infamously groundless 10% brain use figure—and that materially successful people aren't necessarily smart, while chipping in the clichéd Latin American anti-intellectualism. On the other hand, however, they urge: "let's not use that excuse ... The latter comes across as a predictably Marxist so-called class struggle anti-Bush call to the stereotypical "Brown people revolution against those in power, also couched in a cumbia-rhythmic backbeat.



Funky, rockish, and percussive, with characteristically youthful, attractive horn riffs: this is Los Mocosos ...



Visit Los Mocosos on the web.


Track Listing: 1. Bandolera Era (J.M. Mart?-nez & G. Ramos) 2. Hey Mama (J.M. Mart?-nez, S. Carter & U. Castro) 3. Vete/El Largo Adi

Personnel: Ayla D

Title: American Us | Year Released: 2005


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Open Book CD/LP/Track Review Open Book
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Stolen Moments CD/LP/Track Review Stolen Moments
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Sonder CD/LP/Track Review Sonder
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Putting Off Death CD/LP/Track Review Putting Off Death
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Albert Mangelsdorff And His Friends CD/LP/Track Review Albert Mangelsdorff And His Friends
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 16, 2017
Read Heaven On Their Minds CD/LP/Track Review Heaven On Their Minds
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: August 16, 2017
Read "Cool" CD/LP/Track Review Cool
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: March 20, 2017
Read "Been Up So Long It Looks Like Down to Me: The Micros Play the Blues" CD/LP/Track Review Been Up So Long It Looks Like Down to Me: The Micros Play...
by Troy Dostert
Published: March 3, 2017
Read "Going North" CD/LP/Track Review Going North
by Chris Mosey
Published: April 19, 2017
Read "Day After Day" CD/LP/Track Review Day After Day
by John Eyles
Published: July 21, 2017
Read "Spirit Forward" CD/LP/Track Review Spirit Forward
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 7, 2016
Read "Ha Noi Duo" CD/LP/Track Review Ha Noi Duo
by Ian Patterson
Published: March 27, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.