In a year of civil unrest, a new Brujeria album is just what we needed. Pocho Aztlan is a satirical take on the pejorative term Pocho (of Spanish descent but no longer speaks Spanish) and Aztlan (the homeland of the Aztecs).
This is the band’s first new material since Brujerizmo in 2000. How has their full force machete stance evolved in those 16 years, with their country in the spotlight?
The fight against immigration is at center stage with many racial epithets being fired off amply by the prototypical xenophobe on the album’s opener and title track. But for the this “mysterious” super group it is just business as usual.
Hongo (Shane Embury), El Cynico (Jeff Walker), El Podrido (Adrian Erlandsson), the inimitable hombre Juan Brujo and the rest of the band keep this freight train rolling right along as this deathgrind refuses to halt. “Brujo” and “Plata o Plombo” have catchy riffs and plenty of heaviness.
Brujo’s impassioned growls mix well with the heaviest elements of the music and the production quality is top notch. There is even a cover of Dead Kennedys’ “California Uber Alles,” albeit under a slightly different name. The song attacks then and current California governor Jerry Brown and the push to mellow out the youth while taking control of the country. The aim for Brujeria is obviously Trump as they provide an up to date take on a similar problem in this country.
With an album which is their strongest since Raza Odiada, Brujeria sound revitalized. There are very few Spanish language bands or bands in general that can attack with such fury on all fronts from beginning to end on an album in 2016. Much like their song of the sample title “No Acceptan Imitaciones,” Brujeria are the real deal and that is a message sent loud and clear to the powers that be.
(released September 16, 2016 on Nuclear Blast Records)