There’s plenty to be bummed about this Mexican Independence Day. Even though many Mexicans generally see September 16 as a time to rejoice, the last few years haven’t really been too peachy, as the country has endured what might be one of the worst presidencies ever. As I type this, protestors are marching through the streets of Mexico City, calling for the resignation of President Enrique Peña Nieto.
To protest the occasion, Remezcla has compiled a list of 12 anti-patriotic himnos that encapsulate Mexico’s last few years of depravity and despair. This isn’t flowery indie rock produced by beanie-clad kids in air-conditioned studios in Roma-Condesa, but music from the very fringes of the drug war-ravaged country – grimy, glitchy, and gloomy. You’re going to want to bust out your ski masks and black Mexican flags for this one.
There’s certainly an overarching sense of doom throughout this collection, which spans all the way back to 2012, the year that marked the return of the quasi-dictatorial Partido Revoluconario Institucional. Songs like Capullo’s “Abanderado” (whimsically PC Music-fied by Tijuana’s $eñor $in $exo) take a playful stab at dissent, while Josué Josué’s “El regreso del PRI” paints the burden of despair squarely on the individual. Both Espectro | Caudillo’s “Las Caras Ocultas” and Zonzobot’s “La balada de Enrique” profile the current president in a more personal and analytical light. With Santos’ “San Cristobal,” the mood swells with angst, as the Tijuana native utters the hypnotic verse “gobierno sin fé, gobierno de maldad” (“a faithless government, a government of evil”). Sounds about right.
Stream the playlist on SoundCloud below.
Editor’s note: The author performs as Espectro | Caudillo, one of the artists featured in this playlist.