Well, I guess “Maten al Criminal” was some sort of hit in Mexico last year? We like to feel like we’re aware of what radio is playing but this is clearly not the case. The John Band isn’t very interesting to start with, and in terms of how they sound they’re not too far from Motel, Beto Cuevas or 3 Doors Down? Not necessarily a bad thing though, sometimes you need standard music to remind you of where you’re standing, if at any moment you’re on still/motionless ground kill yourself! Too violent? Not really, it’s a romanticized statement just like The John Band’s hit, a galore of criminal metaphor and broken hearts. The song however arrives at such an appropriate moment, during Mexico’s most violent years it’s logical consumers would be receptive to the literal connotation of the song, “maten al criminal, no debe estar respirando en este lugar.” Just like the AIDS theory regarding Fatal Attraction (Lyne, 1987), the message here is overstated, but it works and glances the song to unintentional altitudes.
After a fortunate good piece, one can’t help but to give them the benefit of the doubt and Perdedores vs Perdedores simply struggles to create great tunes. The John Band just like Los Liquits or Volovan are better story-tellers than musicians, too bad the songs in this album are too dry to strike for the cute or the spectacular. There is a piece that steps out of comfort zone, “Hooke” is probably about suicide but it’s bright for a picnic, fun although its country glaze is quite forced. “Uh Aja!” suffers from this uncomfortable situation as well, good-intentioned ideas that fail to be anything else than scratched attempts.
Second single “Perdedores” is very immediate, just by the title you can tell it’s bound to be pessimistic, I just hope they would mutilate themselves entirely a la En Ventura, Los Romanticos de Zacatecas or Monocordio. “Pop Star” reminds me of La Oreja de Van Gogh’s “Pop”, but way less interesting. Perdedores vs Perdedores doesn’t fit its title though, it’s not entirely horrible, plus you can always rely on “Maten al Criminal” because it’s just very catchy to overlook. There’s also a well accomplished ‘reloaded version’ of it, which you can download here.