SanTana Band Tozcos Puts It Down for Their City via Mexican Hardcore Punk

Tozcos is exactly the type of band you’d think would come out of SanTana; an underground hardcore punk band raising desmadre in the streets for the past four years with their unapologetically Mexican sound. Right from the start of their EP Existencia Aturida (2015), Kevin Lopez’s driving bass lines lead you right into the havoc with vocalist Monse Segura’s furious delivery making you wish you didn’t show up to Spanish class high all the time as Corrina Pichardo’s abusive drum fills take hold and you find Jose “Lemon” Limon’s solo reveling in the mayhem of it all by a minute in. Segura’s translated lyrics reveal the true darkness of the record where she takes you into the nightmares of the streets and dystopian futures filled with cyborgs. The result manages to be both dance-able and punk worthy of any circle pit— the perfect fist fighting soundtrack all in one befitting due to Tozcos being a Spanish slang word for a “brute”. When asked if the city influenced their sound, Lopez says “it had to, we all grew up here…just the way we are and the way we think.”

“In Santa Ana, no one was playing this kind of punk,” Lopez says. “It wasn’t a thing to play Spanish punk. Actually a lot of fucken people used to talk shit…that’s the mentality that still kind of resonates especially with second/third generation Mexicans, a lot of people are like ‘oh fuck that shit, paisas’.”

They’ve always held a #FuckTheHaters mentality though with the band proving to be a perfect combo right from their first jam session in 2013, writing songs so fast they played their first show within a month of forming and recorded their demo tape shortly after for Overdose Records. The bands true debut though ccame with the release of Existencia Aturida on label Verdugo Discos which landed them as a nominee for the 2015 L.A. Records readers poll for best single/EP and a powerful review in the 2016 issue #122. Despite all the horrors of the record, it still manages to be fun with a glint of hope which Segura says was intentional. “I know it’s tough sometimes,” she says, “so I want people to know there’s other people out there that feel the same way.”

While they don’t consider themselves a political band, these sorts of underlying messages show a dabbling in politics which sometimes comes out on stage. At a November 13, 2016 show at Los Globos, Segura spoke to a mostly Latino crowd before their set, encouraging everyone to practice self-care and to empower one another to rise about a Trump presidency. With their whole city being affected by the looming threat of mass deportation, she feels there’s a sense of insecurity and fear lingering within the Latino community. But she says playing in a Mexican punk band is “kind of a way of resisting everything that’s going on…it’s a big fuck you to Trump and to all these White supremacists that are trying to ‘keep white culture alive’ like fuck them.”

This band is just getting started as they’re set to release their first album at the beginning of next year via Verdugo Discos. They took their time with this record, experimenting with different tempos and recording analog to achieve a whole new sound for their 12-13 song LP. But befriend some punks quick, because you won’t find a social media for this band nor much promotion for the record and even their upcoming January 18 show in SanTana is on a “ask a punk, don’t burn the spot” basis. Pichardo says “if you want to find out, you’ll find out, that’s what we had to do.”

“Obviously we tell people we have a record coming out but that’s it,” Lopez says. “Or ‘we got these shows coming up’. It’s different from posting a flyer as opposed to non-stop shoving it down peoples throats. That’s wack, that’s fucking annoying…if you’re into punk, you’ll find us.”

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