Many words can describe the band “Piñata Protest,” because they can be a lot of things. However cliche words like eclectic or “avant-garde” may seem to be to some, describing a band like Piñata Protest without using these words will only render the description vague and incomplete. Amassing musical and artistic elements from Hispanic sounds, American rock and fusing them with punk rock to create a very distinct sound that can be classified as both traditional and contemporary, Piñata Protest has managed not just to push musical but also cultural boundaries.
In their sounds, you can hear strong Spanish, Mexican, and even Puerto Rican elements intertwined with contemporary and traditional American rock culture to create an intense, soothing, and unique sonic blend that can hardly be replicated by any other band around. With the accordion taking center stage instrumentally while also accompanying the uncolored but character-filled vocal of Àlvaro Del Norte, the band delivers a unique kind of punk rock that is new, old, strange, and equally familiar. Piñata Protest is a blend of everything.
Being made up of only four players, the band still delivers a big sound typical of more prominent bands and larger ensembles. Although striving to maintain the necessary dirt, rhythmic and melodic nuances distinctive of punk and rock, the band still stays simple in their overall musical forms and rhythmic structures. Their approach to lyricism is relatively simple, bold, and straightforward. With lyrics being in both Spanish and English, Globalization and the universalization of punk rock are taken another step further by Piñata Protest.
It is hard to ignore a band like this. They have managed to erase cultural boundaries, blur the invisible lines, and rewrite the unwritten rules that guided music composition by wildly fusing those previously perceived as unfusable. Who thought that the accordion could overtake heavily distorted electric guitars to be the center stage in a genre like punk? Apart from releasing excellent records, Piñata Protest also always puts up incredible shows and performances.
A Decade of Music
The band Piñata Protest was founded by a Mexican-born singer and accordionist in the person of Àlvaro Del Norte. The band is made up of electric guitarist Regino Lopez, who also doubles on vocals, Richie Brown on electric bass and vocals, and drummer Chris-Ruptive, who, just like the other band members, also doubles on vocals.
Although it might seem like quite a new band, it might surprise some to know that this quartet has been active for over ten years. They have managed to maintain a hectic schedule of performing and touring throughout countries like the US, Canada, and Mexico through all these years. They have shared stages with a wide range of musical acts like The Reverend Horton Heat, Mariachi El Bronx, Molotov, Guttermouth, Voodoo Glow Skulls, Brujeria, The Toadies, Ramon Ayala, The Blasters, Authority Zero, Agent Orange, Molotov, Ozomatli, Mustard Plug, The Blasters, Wayne Hancock, and Girl In A Coma.
Although punk rock prides itself in uniqueness and unconventionality, the band Piñata Protest takes this punk ideology further by totally deviating from what has come to be recognized as the traditional punk sound. It goes way beyond bringing a different punk sound and deviating from the norm; it is also about the marriage of culture and synergizing distinct cultural idioms. In their sounds, you can hear Spanish, Mexican, and Puerto Rican meet American and American popular culture. The result is hard to describe with words; it can only be felt and understood.
Piñata Protest has had official appearances at SXSW, Dia De Los Toadies, the 2015 Latin BMI Awards, and National Public Radio. Worthy of note is their album ‘El Valiente’ at #7 on the Latin Billboard Top 100 charts. They have also been featured in several graduate-level academic research papers, books, and three film soundtracks. Also, in 2014, an independent beer brewer Freetail Brewing released a beer brand named after the band. The Piñata Protest beer is distributed in grocery chains, bars, and venues across Texas. You can listen to their sounds across all streaming platforms and follow the band on all social media platforms to keep up with their ever-dynamic lifestyle.