By Daniel Paiz
It’s with great pleasure we at Cypher Sessions get to say Mucho Gusto to Denver’s own Los Mocochetes, as one of Denver’s best live bands has dropped their first album project today. This fluctuating band rotation of five to six members has been playing all over Denver, Colorado and surrounding states for a number of years. It’s exciting to see the release of Mucho Gusto, and to break down the project song by song.
Fair warning, my Spanish is not the greatest, and this album is mostly in Spanish. However, do not let that deter you from listening to these engaging songs. If you understand some Spanish, you’ll get the overall message in each song. Plus, the musicality and energy with which this group plays with transcends spoken languages. If you enjoy getting your groove on, press play. If you need something upbeat? Proceed. Alright enough platitudes, here we go with these songs.
Checking out Mucho Gusto track by track
These guys utilize fun to draw in listeners, and then give a needed perspective to keep them. Who can really get mad about Tacos at first, but then stop listening when thoughtfully tasty morsels are served throughout.
43 sounds different from the live version I’ve witnessed in previous shows. There’s an air of gravity to it, while it still maintains being jam worthy; the opening guitar sets the mood. There’s plenty to stand against in US society, and enough has happened to communities by the hands of the government and other types such as 43. The time has come to be involved for one’s community and for the youth.
Revolucion is a signature Mocochetes track. I’ve heard it live multiple times and it doesn’t get old, especially when it comes to this remixed version. Even if your Spanish is not great like mine, you can understand there’s been enough Trump, ICE, and police brutality. It’s time to raise up the community, women, abuelitas, and everyone else put down too often. This call and response track also feel like a call to action song. The more you engage this track, the better it is (another Los Mocochetes calling card).
Si Se Puede contains another intro that pulls the listener in with the buildup prior to the opening lyrics. Definitely feeling that mindset of it’s up to you on what it is that you want to do. There’s different kinds of medicine when it comes to what one needs to do for their own peace; Mocochetes would like to remind us of that. The guitar solo though…hit that repeat real quick.
Tacos is a song full of tacos with a hint of corridos as well. Probably the most upbeat on this Mucho Gusto project, the music inspired by abuelita’s cooking definitely has our mouth watering. A muy chingon track from Los Mocochetes. Food, community, and a general distaste of bland folks (like Trump) won’t let you stop clapping your hands or tapping your feet. Tacos is also the lightest track content-wise, as it doesn’t feel as heavy as the others.
Rocks reflects the protest side of this rising Denver band with their call to action anthem. There are other protest songs on this album, but this one asks the most of listeners and society in general. What’s being asked isn’t a whole lot either. However, with the current state of police brutality, racial and class inequality across Denver, Colorado, and more broadly across the United States, it seems to still be a radical request. There’s not a lot of need to break down the lyrics; make a better space for future generations by taking action now. No need for double entendre, metaphors, or anything else. Multiple plays will make that abundantly clear.
This group of musicians has been practicing and playing together for a number of years, and it’s really something special getting to see them put out this music. As someone who has only briefly covered them, it’s awesome to see their growth. I can’t imagine what it’s been like for those who have seen their progression since they first started. These songs are fairly simple, but that’s meant as a compliment. I realized about a year ago during an interview that effectively crafting something simple is deceptively difficult.
Making something that others can engage in and absorb regardless of background is tough. These songs are just a start; nothing happens overnight. But, many thanks are in store for audiences that continue to listen and engage with this band. Mucho Gusto to Los Mocochetes for making this music.