Sonic Reducer: Piñata Protest, Panda Riot, Matt Perrine & Sunflower City

Sonic Reducer: Piñata Protest, Panda Riot, Matt Perrine & Sunflower City

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Mixing punk with Mexican border music is nothing new. Joe “King” Carrasco hit it big on the frat-boy circuit with nuevo wave-o Tex-Mex party songs that ultimately tasted like watery horchata . Tired of Black Flag copycats but not the energy, San Antonio native Álvaro del Norte reclaimed the corridos he rejected as a child to study under Texas accordion maestro Juan Tejeda. Now his band, Piñata Protest, serves a steaming pot of caldo de res with beefy punk riffs and greasy accordion marrow—the tastiest Norteño/ rock recipe to date. Be sure you save your last bit of tortilla to wipe the bowl clean. (CA)

Panda Riot Far and Near (Mirror/Mirror)

This quartet is one of the leaders in Chicago’s emerging dreampop scene, and Far and Near shows why. Panda Riot members formed the band while working on a short film. Inspired by submerged scenes, listening to this pretty little album is like being magically underwater. Melodic landscapes of keyboards, tambourines and drum machines paired with pop guitars are reminiscent of The Postal Service, but Panda Riot, with its ethereal female vocalist, is void of the rainy-city melancholia the former evokes. (SO)

Matt Perrine & Sunflower City Bayou Road Suite (Threadhead Records)

“Moldy fig” was an epithet reserved for traditional jazz fans, but sousaphonist/composer Matt Perrine demonstrates that trad jazz can, when done right, be more like a ripe, chin-dripping mango. These 10 delightful originals and one cover also prove that his first release, Sunflower City, was no flash in the pan. Though Bayou Road Suite hews closer to trad jazz than its predecessor, some tracks offer another taste of the Caribbean influences that lilt through that album and New Orleans music, and two tracks update things with a very nontrad B-3. Using many of New Orleans’ finest, Perrine delivers another winner. (MM)

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