This is in a good cause and is a more-than-decent album.
The cause: sadly not a local one but still good: the album is raising cash for No Us Without You, a US charity providing food security for undocumented back-of-house staff and their families. “Undocumented hospitality workers are the backbone of the hospitality industry,” says the PR. Being the US, this probably means mostly Latino; they are unemployed due to the covid-19 pandemic and not eligible for unemployment benefits, even though they’re taxed.
As for the music, LA punk label Wiretap Records launched a new imprint, My Grito, aimed at supporting mainly Latin artists in various mediums, from music to art.
So, while it’s in a good cause it’s got some decent bands signed to a cool label. We’ve not heard of a single one but there are bands such as The Paranoias, Latin Killers, Los Skagaleros, Go Betty Go, Las Calakas, Audio Karate, La Muerte, Como Las Movies, Adrian Carmine, La Chamba, Valley Rats, Welfair, Archer Oh, My Machete and Ear Ringers.
There is a wide variation in sound. 3LH kick things off with DIY rock ‘n’ roll surfer song Don’t Wanna Hold Your Hand, with Latin Killers taking it reggae with Cúrame, sung in Spanish, and a chorus resembling a pop tune you hear on holiday in Spain: kind of annoying but catchy.
Los Skagaleros are frantic gypsy ska punks, their Tales of the Working Class proceeding at a blistering pace and competing with the brass section. Catch your breath via The Paranoias’ poppy Amarte before La Muerte’s Escuchame, which we’d call Tex Mex meets reggae but for the band is just reggae.
Elsewhere, we like Las Calakas’s Muse-meets-disco Baile De Las Calakas, Go Betty Go’s punky grrrl power Tartamudo and the traditional Los Esplifs’ La Peligrosa.
Standouts are Professor Galactico’s Forgot My Name, Amor Eterno’s Don’t Need Your Love and The Venomous Pinks, with Hold On.
Not a dud song across the 29 on offer. An enjoyable album for those of you who like label samplers.
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