Guadalajara. It’s such a weird place for independent music. Most of their bands show a great deal of quality, like nowhere else in Mexico and yet they suffer the most to reach great heights. With the exception of, maybe, Descartes a Kant, Technicolor Fabrics and Radaid, the rest of the bands are very little known. They suffer from a lot of the same mistakes: Lack of vision and management strategies, ego arrogance, and being captive of a local scene that is more and more isolated year after year. Today it’s very difficult for a local band to play in its own city: people won’t go and pay to see their own bands and bands from other cities never go there to play cause there’s nowhere to play (except in the annual 212 RMX public festival). So they don’t have any guidance on how to promote their music and, eventually, will end up forgotten for years. And it’s very sad because there’s a lot of talent wasted while the rest of the country suffers from poor musical quality, especially in Mexico City, where all the important media is found.
Also, language is still an issue. While Mexico City’s bands understood since 2009 that English lyrics are not the way to go in a Spanish speaking country, ‘tapatío’ bands still cling on the idea of succeeding without embracing the local language. This is a big issue: English speaking bands have never been taken seriously. For example Descartes a Kant, probably the most successful band from Guadalajara, would be one of the top bands of this country if they weren’t stubborn with this language issue. And this is not the only case. But I guess musical quality still remains. But that won’t be enough if they want to succeed, at least in Mexico. They also need to grab the idea of becoming more professional; maybe a little less ‘indie’ since they’ve being embracing that label so seriously and got them nowhere.
I’d like to offer a small list of what I think, are the ten most promising bands in Guadalajara right now. Most of them still sing in English, but let’s hope they can evolve soon. It’s going to be worth it for them and for fans in this country. And maybe just then, music quality in this Mexican scene could be so much better.
I recently discovered them. I think they can still improve a lot, but there’s something there that can explode soon. Changing the lyrics to Spanish is going to make this band a very interesting one.
This is a great combination of sweet girl voices/guitars and a solid bass/drums base. They have great pop melodies and lately they’ve been working on louder, more progressive music. They’re evolving and I think we can expect very interesting music from them in years to come. Spanish, and sometimes English.
These ones are very well-known in Guadalajara. Leonard Cohen meets Nick Cave meets folk music meets the old west. It has to be one of the finest bands out there. It’s such a shame they still sing in English and can’t explode yet in the musical scene.
A German girl on the vocals and the guitarist from Marlento make the brains of this band. A comeback to the sound of the 90’s, no doubt. Maybe a little bit of Garbage and maybe a little trip-hop. English lyrics only.
Probably the most in-your-face live show I’ve seen in my life, at least from a Mexican band. Purely instrumental, purely energetic. This band may not be very popular in the future due to the lack of vocals, but I think it could be very well respected.
Very folky-music. They’re very into acoustic sounds and percussions. And lots of melancholic voices. I think these boys can reach really great heights, especially since they’re prone to a great spectrum of audiences. They recently changed to Spanish, and they sound so good like that.
This country lacks hard rock music. There’s lack of ‘huevos’. Redlake Circus recovers a little from the Tool, A Perfect Circle, Deftones sound. Rock and loud music. This band is now touring in the US and Europe. English and Spanish lyrics.
Originally from Nayarit, they developed in Guadalajara as a very young band of really young musicians. They may not be that mature now, but they are really hard working and I’m sure their years to come will make wonders with their music. English and Spanish lyrics.
THE POLAR DREAM
Straight-forward Post-Rock. Very well crafted, though. It’s like some kind of playful-childish Sigur Rós music. It’s all about the instrumentation. Instrumental music that’s becoming to be very respected among Post-Rock fans in the country.
Old wolves in the local scene. They began to be popular back in 2007 but then they had a hiatus of 5 years or so. They came back this year, matured a lot and crafted one of the most amazing records I’ve heard in Mexican music. The new record is only Spanish lyrics.
Some other bands to watch: Antoine Reverb, Childs, Sutra, Casino Slut Bar, Rey de Dagas, and The Oaths.
Por: Carlos Om @Omualdolicken .