Friday, January 27, 2006

Vamos a Mexico

Play it: Zurdok (A Sampler)

So I'm out next week in Puerta Vallarta for my half-bro's wedding. In honor of the trip, I'm digging up an obscure Mexican act that I discovered back in 2000, when we were travelling to Zihuatanejo: Zurdok.

Normally when I say Latin rock, a lot of assumptions are drawn (and we all have our own...) well, other then the Spanish language, you should throw them out before listening to Zurdok, as they defy it all. Forget Santana (or Ricky Martin, for that matter,) think more along the lines of Magical Mystery Tour, Pet Sounds, OK Computer and The Soft Bulletin. Yes, that's quite a group of albums to reference, but Zurdok pulls it off, believe it or not.

Originally formed in Monterey, MX (home to other assumption-defying acts like Control Machete, Kinky and Plastilina Mosh,) Gerardo Garza ("Chetes") and Maurizio Terracina started playing together at age 13 (in 1993,) finding similar influences in music from the UK and the US, along with a mutual admiration for Argentinian band Soda Stereo (play "De Musica Ligera"(live) by Soda Stereo.) After finding some like-minded musicians in 1994, they called themselves Movimiento Zurdok, and began to build a following in Monterey. In 1995 they won the hotly contested "Battle of the Bands" in Mexico City, becoming the first act to do so that didn't live in the capital city. This led to their first album (Antena, 1997, see "Si Me Hablas Al Reves") and it made a minor splash in Mexico. They then shortened the name to just Zurdok and dropped the amazing Hombre Sintetizador (2000,) with the first single ("Abre Los ojos") getting major radio airplay throughout Mexico. It also caught the ear of many here in the states, and Zurdok found themselves signed to Universal, and also contributing to the soundtrack to the crossover hit movie, Amores Perros ("Una Mas Vez.")

Their one and only major label album was released in 2001 (Maquillaje,) to rave reviews both in Mexico and in the United States. Unfortunately, it never translated into sales here. One has to think that if either Maquillaje or Hombre Sintetizador were dropped today from an upcoming band, blog buzz akin to what Swedish rockers Dungen received the past year might've vaulted them to further success, but alas, they ended up breaking up and now we can only wonder what might've been.

Founding members Chetes and Maurizio have since founded another band, Vaquero, which reminds me a little bit of Zurdok, but ultimately leaves me wanting... and they sing in English, which I have to admit, just doesn't feel right. They played at SXSW in 2004 and got good response, and since have self-released an album (March, 2005) which supposedly will soon be available digitally via Rhapsody, iTunes and the like.

In the meantime, we can all enjoy their superior previous incarnation, Zurdok. Mucho gusto! (Hasta en una semana...)

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1 comment:

drake leLane said...

Zurdok

* "Estatico" from Maquillaje
* "Abre Los ojos" - from Hombre Sintetizador
* "Interludio I" from Maquillaje
* "Una Vez Mas" - from Amores Perros (Soundtrack)
* "Hombre Sintetizador 1" - from Hombre Sintetizador
* "Para Siempre" from Maquillaje
* "Si Me Hablas Al Reves" from Antena
* "Interludio II" from Maquillaje
* "?Cuantos Pasos?" - from Hombre Sintetizador
* "Asi Es" from Maquillaje
* "Hombre Sintetizador II" - from Hombre Sintetizador