Rock out with my Rosetta Stone out
September 13, 2021 8:53 AM   Subscribe

Can you recommend me some good Latin punk/rock bands?

The radio station I listen to is playing a lot of Latin music this morning, which inherently is good, but they're playing mostly styles of music I don't care for, regardless of where the band originates from. So far, it's a lot of dance/hip-hop/generic pop music, and it made me think "where are all the punk and rock bands?"

So, since that is a huuuuuuuuge blind spot for me (the last band from the non-US Americas I remember really liking was Davila 666), I figured I'd ask here. What are some good punk/rock bands from not-the-US? I'm mostly in the mind of Central/South America because of what's on the radio right now, but I'm also open to non-English speaking punk/rock bands from anywhere, really.

I'm pretty much the stereotypical 80's/90's college rock-trained guy; the Jam is my all-time favorite band (Local-band answer to that question: The Fastbacks), but anything that's basically guitars/bass/drums is in my wheelhouse.
posted by pdb to Media & Arts (18 answers total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
Los Brujos - Kanishka

Supposedly Nirvana sort of ripped off Very Ape off of In Utero from this song. I think it's from Central America.

Malajube - Fille À Plume France
posted by The_Vegetables at 9:07 AM on September 13, 2021

For what it's worth, Elvis Costello has recently released a remix of "This Year's Model" with Spanish speaking musicians called "Spanish Model." Sample track: Pump it up, by Elvis and the Attractions and Juanes.

You might also check out the Mexican Institute of Sound, which is not punk or rock, I guess, but good fun.
posted by baseballpajamas at 9:17 AM on September 13, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: los violadores - y ahora que pasa eh? (their lead singer just died last month)
posted by noloveforned at 9:33 AM on September 13, 2021 [1 favorite]

Spotify has Spanish- language playlists that are good for finding Latino artists. You might like "iconos del rock latinoamericano"
posted by geegollygosh at 9:49 AM on September 13, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Spanish is such a great language for punk rock rhythms.

In last ten years or so there's actually lot of great punk in Spanish from the USA. Austin's Criatura's made a perfect hardcore record, Oscuridad Eterna. And I can't imagine a better punk anthem than Downtown Boy's cover of Los Prisoneros "Poder Eliger". Canaal Irreal is yet another fine American band that mostly sings in Spanish. Tozcos is all Spanish.

Melenas, from Spain, put out more indie/garage styled rock, and Spain seems to have a great scene right now with that sort of sound. Part of the challenge here is that a lot of ambitious bands from Spanish-speaking countries record a lot in English, or are doing something like the shoegazey Lorelle Meets the Obsolete where you can't really make out the words much regardless of the language.
posted by bendybendy at 9:59 AM on September 13, 2021 [2 favorites]

This is an interesting article (en espanol) from El Pais that lists a dozen 80s(ish) punk bands, primarily if not exclusively from Spain, that would be a good starting point for early stuff. You don't need to read Spanish to figure out the band/song names (the categories for each entry are "Who Were/Are They?", "Why (song) Is So Good", and "Where are they now?".

NPR's covers many genres of music but will be pretty informative for modern bands (here's a sitesearch for "punk", with mostly relevant results).

The 90s had a lot of SoCal/Mexican punk bands that recorded in both English and Spanish. VooDoo Glow Skulls (who released a Spanish version of their 1995 album El Firme) and Union 13 spring to mind quickly, but I know there were others I've forgotten along the way.

This is a fun question, thanks!
posted by Ufez Jones at 10:27 AM on September 13, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Hermosillo's Sgt. Papers for sure!
posted by biersquirrel at 10:58 AM on September 13, 2021 [1 favorite]

Argentinian label EDUCACION CÍNICA has been one of my favorites of the past few years.
posted by ndfine at 12:12 PM on September 13, 2021

I'm a big fan of Mikel Erentxun and the band he started with in the 80s, Duncan Dhu. One thing I like is that he's been putting out music consistently for the last 40 years so you can hear all the same trends that shaped american indie/alternative rock through fresh ears.

Duncan Dhu's big hit El Algun Lugar is a good place to start, as well as any recent solo stuff on Spotify.
posted by kittensofthenight at 12:24 PM on September 13, 2021

Best answer: This song rules. Un Minuto de Ti.

Los Prisoneros werer mentioned above. They are super classic and this song is a big nostalgia bomb for certain folks. Tren Al Sur. The video is great too. I think they are Spanish as well, not sure.
posted by kittensofthenight at 12:33 PM on September 13, 2021

Oh! I almost forgot, there's a 6 part documentary on Netflix about the history of Rock en Espanol. I learned a lot and it was rewarding to get context for songs and bands I knew. (NPR write up.)

This Caifanes song is in heavy rotation in my house, this was what alternative teens discovered in their older siblings record collection. I'm not sure is the Rock en Espanol sound (totally a sound!) appeals to you but I can rec a lot more if this style appeals.
posted by kittensofthenight at 12:41 PM on September 13, 2021

Best answer: Seconding the suggestion of Los Prisioneros...
No Necesitamos Banderas
El Baile de los que Sobran

Los Planetas are good... El Artista Madridista

For a more heavy metal flavor:
Heroes del Silencio - Deshacer el Mundo (Avalancha is a classic album)
Triangulo de Amor Bizarro - Barca Quemada (I love the albums Salve Discordia and Victoria Mistica)
Los Mundos - El Color que Cayo del Espacio
posted by umber vowel at 1:26 PM on September 13, 2021

Response by poster: In just a brief run through of like half the bands listed so far, I really like most of it.

Los Violadores is closest to what I had in my head that I was looking for, but I really liked Melenas as well. Both Los Prisioneros and Duncan Dhu sound very familiar to me, stylistically - a bit of their time, for sure (and that's not a bad thing).

This is great stuff! Thanks all. Expanding my musical brain is something I haven't done in a while and I forgot how fun it is to do.
posted by pdb at 2:36 PM on September 13, 2021 [1 favorite]

If you'll accept some horns as well, Los Fabulosos Cadillacs and Manu Chao/Mano Negra.
posted by Candleman at 2:39 PM on September 13, 2021

Response by poster: Update! Sgt. Papers: also awesome!
posted by pdb at 3:09 PM on September 13, 2021

KEXP's "El Sonido" program on Monday nights plays a huge variety of Latin artists. Last night they had a great rock set including a feature on the upcoming Freakout Festival in Seattle with Davilla 666, Par Asito, Margaritas Podrias, and Los Honey Rockets, plus El Shirota, Mengers, Las Ligas Menores, and much more... I've been discovering so much great Latin music through that show (huge Spotify playlist here).

There's also a lot of great pop & rock coming out of Spain - Elefant Records has a ton of catchy stuff from bands like Cola Jet Set, Papa Topo, and La Casa Azul.
posted by Gortuk at 8:13 AM on September 14, 2021

Maybe try Arsenico by DLD?
posted by azalea_chant at 1:28 PM on September 14, 2021

Italy punk rock, sorry, I couldn't get the link to work:
posted by poppunkcat at 12:17 PM on September 16, 2021

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