Sunday, January 30, 2011
Review: La Plebe - "Brazo en Brazo"
La Plebe became one of the biggest buzz bands in punk in 2007 when ¡Hasta La Muerte! was released by growing powerhouse Red Scare, though they've actually been around since 2001 and independently put out several releases since 2003. Even without Red Scare on Brazo en Brazo, La Plebe has another solid record on their hands that is sure to convert even more into believers of the bilingual horn-punk fiesta.
The record begins with a traditional canción ranchera in ¾ tempo before kicking in the punk with trompetas blaring and gritas de unidad. Following is “Campesino” (farm worker), which proudly proclaims “¡La tierra para los que la trabajan!” (roughly “The land for those who work it”). The bravado politico continues on the bilingual “Jaulas”, which asserts “Racist fucking pigs that control this democracy / Don’t care about the damage to working-class families / Migrant workers face incarceration / The mentally ill don’t get rehabilitation.”
The poppy left-wing punk maintains through “Guerra Sucia” (“Dirty War”), “Opresión” and “La Soledad”, which attests strongly “No es criminal ser pobre” (“It’s not a crime to be poor”). La banda occasionally dives into more traditional estilos de música mexicana, like on “Bella Ciao”, which is actually una canción italiano sung by anarchistos, comunistas, y socialistas en World War II. The best song del disco es “No No”, a catchy Spanish punk number with an almost traditional meringue rhythm interspersed in the chorus.
Even though it was released in 2010, it’s clear that La Plebe released one of the year’s best punk records to their name. Brazo en Brazo is simultaneously fervent, frustrated, but overwhelmingly fun, and leaves the listener with a feeling that this music is more than just the product of a band, but is a way of life for the San Francisco quintet.