Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

Calibre 50 ft. El Komander – Qué Tiene De Malo

Finally, correct use of accented characters…


Josh Langhoff: The artists are indignant. Both Calibre 50, a quartet named for a big-ass gun, and El Komander, who’s designed his “K” to look like a big-ass gun, have recently been fined and banned by certain state and local governments in Mexico. The reason? Their narcocorrido music “promotes violence.” Well, yeah. Wasn’t that the point of all the big-ass guns? The artists retaliate with this pro-freedom meta-corrido, “What’s Wrong With That?”, presenting themselves as working stiffs who’ll drink and party and spend hard-earned money on whatever kind of music they like. (They’re like two steps removed from Toby Keith in “That Don’t Make Me a Bad Guy.”) On their albums, Calibre venture into pop ballads and dangerously close to sea shanties; despite the broadest reach of any norteño band, their grasp sounds firmest when they return to corridos. That lurching waltz beat could trace the arc of a razor sharp pendulum, the tuba fluttering and blatting just out of its reach. During the spoken interlude they quote Komander’s 2012 Youtube hit “Cuernito Armani,” named for — you guessed it — a big-ass gun.

Anthony Easton: Careening, quickly moving, and with some pretty fantastic horns, and the always welcome accordions, this claims to bring a riot — but it is too orderly, too well constructed to be completely riotous. It does have the energy for it, though. 

Patrick St. Michel: Stick a conversation in the middle of your song, and I’ll definitely provide an extra point.

Brad Shoup: It’s practically a sight gag, the thought of Eden Muñoz and El Komander stepping over each other’s assurances that they’re just doing what they gotta do. Each of them bites into the one, snapping off their declaratives while Calibre 50 keeps a steady riling pace. Still, I could do without the all-talk bridge; save that shit for the fadeout.

Juana Giaimo: Am I the only one who wants to press stop as soon as it starts? And even when I gave it a chance, it didn’t get better, but actually worse. It’s a group of disjointed parts: the brass, the accordion, the spoken part, the unmelodious vocal melody… Nothing makes sense!

Jonathan Bogart: The most exciting thing about banda sinaloense in the 2010s is the same thing that was exciting about the Rolling Stones in 1971 — a mood of uncertainty, of contingency, the sense that just a touch might send it all spinning out of control, that they can barely keep up with their own legend, let alone their rock-solid drummer. This is no doubt a studied effect, just as it was in 1971; you have to be really good to play that single-hair-out-of-place sloppy. But it has the effect of making older banda music, with its glossy professionalism, sound safe and boring; even this crooked grin of a song, with its appeals to bourgeois values, can use a little scruff to make it pop.

Reader average: [4] (1 vote)

Vote: 0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10

Comments are closed.