“Pocho Aztlan”

By Dr. Abner Mality

ATENCION CABRONES! The dangerous cholos  of Brujeria have managed to dig their way out of the Supermax prison and are on the rampage again. It’s been more than a decade since we got the last full length from these evil narco-grinders. Has anything changed for them musically?

No, senor, this is Brujeria picking up where they left off…playing a monstrous combo of Napalm Death-style grindcore and mid-period Sepultura groove. Their insistence on Spanish lyrics and foul-mouthed pro-Mexican rage remains, too. Best thing these guys have got going for them is the uniquely Latino roars of singer Juan Brujo. This guy is the perfect and ultimate Mexican grindcore singer…there’s something so uniquely Meso-American about his rude Spanish growls. I cannot imagine anybody else fronting Brujeria or doing a better job.

I thought the opening title track was kind of dicey with its long intro full of Latino sound-effects and samples and rather tepid mid-paced groove. But when “No Acceptan Imitaciones” comes blazing in, the real Brujeria arrives…rampaging fast grindcore with Brujo snarling away. The faster cuts like “Isla de la Fantasia” and the excellent “Satongo” are the most immediately satisfying. But Brujeria can also whip up a storm with groovy stompers like “Bruja” and “Plata de Plomo”, which boast some killer mid-paced riffs. A couple tunes like the ice-cold, dissonant “Codigos” and the Dead Kennedys cover “California Uber Aztlan” didn’t do that much for me.

On the whole, “Pocho Aztlan” is a belligerent piece of heavy Mexican grind. Brujeria sound like they’ve only been out of action for a few months, instead of more than a decade.