Jan 05, 2022

“Bittersweet” is a term I feel gets both overused and misused, but in the case of the latest Manic Hispanic album, it’s completely warranted. If you’re not familiar with this legendary Southern California band, I’m kind of jealous of the journey you’re about to go on. In a sentence, they take the classic punk rock songs we know and love and re-imagine them from a Mexican American point of view with a heavy emphasis on clever comedy. After four albums and a couple of decades, the band was dealt two blows when the heart and soul of the band (Gabby Gaborno and Steve Soto) passed away tragically within a year of each other. It was unsure where the band would go from there. Before his passing, Steve was sharing these songs online and touting a forthcoming album as a tribute to Gabby. After his move to the big slam pit in the sky, the future of the album was unknown. Fast forward a couple of years and the band has finally been able to get it out to the masses. It’s well worth the wait. As with any Manic versions, I find myself very literally doubled over laughing upon first listen. Standouts on this one are their takes on Fugazi (“Holding Cell”), Youth Brigade (“Sneak into California”) and 7 Seconds (“Teardrop in My Eye”). Hell, they’re all amazing. Of course, Jefe is missed but his spirit is all over this. This is classic Manic. It’ll be interesting to see where they go from here. I know both Jefe and El Hoakie Loco wanted the band to continue and I hope they’ll do it. They’ve been a key influence on me with my own music, and I would love the records to keep coming! –Ty Stranglehold (Smelvis)