Doin' Our Own Thing

Whatever happened to that glorious era when rockeros everywhere turned their backs on Anglo influences and began doing their own native shit? Nowadays everyone seems to be going electric, and even icons like the Grammy Award-winning Café Tacuba (who became the most respected Mexican rock band ever with an unusual format of acoustic guitar, stand-up bass, drum machine, and a singer that looked like a charro), well, look and sound like a rock band now. Though the Mexico City foursome have switched over to guitar, bass, and drums, they've still got great musicianship, songwriting skills, and some of the best lyrics in all of Latin music, only now with a more in-your-face approach. "Oh, yeah? You like the tololoche [acoustic bass]?" one imagines them saying. "Suck on this riff!" No need to worry, though. Cuatro Caminos, their superb new album, is so good they could be playing a saw and still sound like Café Tacuba.

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Enrique Lopetegui