Since their inception in 2011, Downtown Boys have been putting out bracing punk music that agitates for social change; their songs (and actions) tackle everything from reparations to police violence to immigration reform. In the months since Donald Trump was elected, their musical opposition to oppression and intolerance feels more urgent than ever, and their latest track “Somos Chulas (No Somos Pendejas)” is no different.
A furious punk slab ready for the circle pit, “Somos Chulas” is an affirmation of self-worth for everybody who doesn’t fit the whitewashed mainstream ideals of (superficial) beauty and success. To drive their point home, the track’s lyrics are entirely in Spanish – a first for the band, who usually convey their message in Spanglish. Although they’ve sadly stashed away the sax on this one, “Somos Chulas” still manages to slip some of the melody we’ve come to expect into the mix, this time in the catchy refrain that the song title draws its title from.
“Somos Chulas” will be part of Downtown Boys’ second album, their first for the legendary Sub Pop label. The as-yet-untitled record was produced by Fugazi’s Guy Picciotto as well as Greg Norman at Chicago’s Electrical Audio studios.
Currently, Downtown Boys are ripping it up in every sense of the word at SXSW and will be touring for the rest of March. In the meantime, run this one back a few times, and dig the lotería-inspired artwork.