Maldita Vecindad y Los Hijos del Quinto Patio

Wednesday

SXSW Records

Maldita Vecindad y Los Hijos del Quinto Patio

Circular Colectivo (Nacional)

Adhering to a Clash-like manifesto, aggressive hooks playing good cop to a lyrical agenda's NATO peacekeeping force, Mexico City fivepiece Maldita Vecindad bears down on its sixth studio album since 1985 and first in a dozen years with all the gravity of a ska beat. That's precisely the point of Circular Colectivo: incessant skank and a viral activism. "El País de No Pasa Nada" ("The Country of Nothing Happens") leads with a red-light-district riff smacking up dystopian dreams, while cantina percolation "Corrido Para Digna Ochoa" recounts the 2001 murder of the human rights heroine of its title. A complex rhythmic web grips "Chacahua (El Grito de Luz)," celebrating the natural wonders of Oaxaca's lagoon wonderland, but just when things get too CNN, soccer chant "Fut Callejero (Pura Diversión)" preps Martian Chronicles "Expedientes Marcianos," which nods to Madness' "One Step Beyond." Circular Colectivo loses edge and steam by disc's end ("Sur del Sur"), but Sandinista!-like instrumental "Don Ernesto y su Jamaica Sound" could fill a side, even though penultimate instro rave-up "Danza Lunática" convulses superfluous. Mexi-ska calling. (Wed., 12:30am, Antone's.)

***

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