Plastilina Mosh

Mexican duo Plastilina Mosh have had it easier than most Latin alternative rock acts. Instead of throwing Latin folk music elements into a rock melting pot -- as many of their colleagues did only to fail to build an Anglo audience because of their Spanish lyrics -- PM slipped into the U.S. market thanks to the cut-and-paste culture established by the Beastie Boys (their 1997 EP Niño Bomba was accompanied by a video that was an unashamed "tribute" to the Beasties' "Sabotage") and Beck. Spanish and English lyrics are just decorative accessories to their rhythmic assault.

In 1998 the duo came out with Aquamosh, a strong debut. But their 33-minute-long followup, 2000's Juan Manuel, didn't meet industry expectations. That's why the brand-new Hola Chicuelos, which comprises more than an hour's worth of all kinds of imaginable fusions recorded, mixed, and produced by Cypress Hill's engineer Jason Roberts, feels so good. "Enzo" has a hip-hopper vibe that isn't even the album's best moment, because right after that song comes "Oxidados," which is full of teenager energy and garage-rock hooks. In the remaining sixteen songs, the group shows that it's possible to blend disco-era romps, funky and jazzy beats inspired by TV shows, easy-listening grooves, chillout formulas, and ironic rock renditions like "Te lo Juro Por Madonna" ("Coca-Cola and Marlboro to wake up/Airports to take off," sings vocalist/guitarist Jonas) and still sound edgy.

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Javier Andrade