Thursday, June 18th, 2015

Alfredo Rios El Komander – Malditas Ganas

A high score for mouthpiece farts…


Josh Langhoff: Sr. Ríos isn’t quite the last man standing from El Movimiento Alterado, the over-the-top genre of horror corridos milked dry by L.A.-based Twiins Enterprises. He is, however, the only Twiins artist who can reliably command a million quick Youtube hits, so that’s what he does: he’s released a single a month in 2015, none indulging in the old ultraviolence, each its own special variety of ramshackle. Komander can’t exactly sing, as you discover when you encounter one of his ballads, an uncomfortable experience like stumbling across a jalopy wheezing to its final resting place in a junkyard. But he excels at plaintive self-referential ramshacklery like this, his January single; the whirligig swing-your-partner-into-the-walls ramshacklery of “Fuga Pa’ Maza,” his March single, is even better. This is all an illusion; his band is deceptively tight, the aural equivalent of the old wobble-the-pencil-so-it-looks-rubbery trick. All this ramshactivity has been… accumulating up to the release of July’s album, sure to contain the most virtuosic collection of mouthpiece farts the world has ever heard.

Alfred Soto: “The Jay Z of Mexican drug balladeers,” according to a North American story, returns with an uncontroversial ditty about not resisting too strongly the lure of beer and women. Neither his best nor his worst but the synth line and accordion are in beautiful syncopation.

Anthony Easton: I am forever a sucker for that accordion, and he plays it exceptionally well.

Iain Mew: As this crawls its way ably and steadily over the same ground for around the tenth time, I start to think I’d much rather listen to the party song that briefly intrudes on the video.

Brad Shoup: I swear to God I thought he was asking her to hand him the aux cord. The puffery that animated his — most, to be fair — narcocorridos is gone. Now there’s a bassy late-night waltz, a lament that keep feinting at going full monologue before the accordion shows up to nudge things along.

Ramzi Awn: “Malditas Ganas” seamlessly puts you at a carnival with a friend you haven’t seen in ages. The bass is pitched perfectly, and the mix is on point.

Rebecca A. Gowns: Although I always love bombastic banda, the kind with a flank of brass players bearing down like a tidal wave, there’s also something to be said for restraint. Rios shows plenty of restraint here: no mentions of violence or drugs or being a big boss, just the usual corrido content of drowning your sorrows in a beer. The only one really letting loose is the accordionist, who decorates each lonely, sparse verse with enthusiastic flourishes. In one sense, this single sounds tired, as if he truly is ready to retire (as he was talking about last year); in another sense, it sounds confident, as if he doesn’t need to boast anymore — he’s El Komander, after all.

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