A few years ago, Matt Caughthran suffered from a particularly potent case of writer's block. During the development of 2006's The Bronx, the second in a line of confusingly self-titled records from his L.A. band, the vocalist was troubled by a song that had bounced around his brain “forever.” The event that shook those words loose almost killed him.
It might appear strange that Caughthran relishes recounting a time when he was almost exterminated by nature, but that perspective ties into The Bronx's MO: seek destruction out, let destruction come to you and channel the havoc into Hard Rock-tinged Hardcore Punk. The band’s sound is driven by the thrill that comes with spitting in the face of impending doom.
But Mariachi El Bronx will also perform on the current tour. Rather than turning out cruel, crude, explosive sounds in ordinary clothes, The Bronx members (and guests) suit up in mariachi band gear and trade standard-issue Rock & Roll instruments for brass, the guitarrón mexicano and the vihuela. In the most revealing alteration, Caughthran actually sings (still in English), utilizing a winsome, masculine tone that displays a surprising sweetness.
The band in all its identities plays the Southgate House on Sunday. Get show details and read Reyan Ali's interview with Caughthran here.