Police On My Back!

Photo by Gustavo Arellano CUAUHTÉMOC
Blame the Placentia Police Department for the bad-even-for-a-demo quality of Cuauhtémoc's Cuauhtémoc Speaks. The band was set to record a pristine copy when one of their friends was arrested at a house show last month, reputedly because he asked for a police officer's badge number. Infuriated at this wrongful imprisonment, Cuauhtémoc's members—singer Coyolt, drummer Revee, guitarist Olin and bassist Victor—spent the $500 that they had saved for a demo on bail, leaving them with a hisses-and-pops-filled tape. But disregard the sound quality and listen to the music that won Cuauhtémoc first place at this year's Santa Ana Battle of the Bands. Starting off with a former CIA agent admitting the United States' role in overthrowing governments worldwide, the tape then segues into songs like “Bienvenidos a Chiapas” (“Welcome to Chiapas”) and “Resist/Resistir” that decry the continuing Conquest of the Americas but also celebrate la resistencia. Coyolt's seething voice infuses the activist lyrics with the proper sense of urgency, while Olin's Tom Morello-style guitar licks fireball right out of the stereo. Distinguishing Cuauhtémoc's style from that of other punk bands, though, is their incorporation of indigenous instruments, from the beautiful flute solo that intros and outros “Armas Secretas” (“Secret Weapons”) to various drum rhythms from the tribes of northern Mexico. One way or another, it's a demo that'll get you out in the street: if not to protest big-time police abuses, then at least to protest the bad cops that make good bands turn out could-be-so-much-better demos.

Info: cuauhtemoc.7p.com; 20***********@ao*.com">hi*********@ao*.com.

OC and Long Beach bands and musicians! Mail your CDs and tapes (along with your vital contact info, plus any impending performance dates) for possible review to: Locals Only,OC Weekly, P.O. Box 10788, Costa Mesa, CA 92627-0247.

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