From the future of perreo to fresh expressions in cumbia, Mexico City is home to some of the continent’s top musicians and sonic visionaries. Toiling in the city’s garage and punk underground, screeching shape-shifters Carrion Kids have carved their name with a feral cocktail of chainsaw guitars, singer Miki Navajas’ piercing wails, and a wicked sense of humor informed by the likes of Devo and The Stooges. For their latest hat trick, Carrion Kids have convened disruptive legends AJ Dávila, Johnny Otis Dávila, and Julián Lede (aka Silverio) for a fuzzy, shimmering cover of Menudo’s ‘80s pop classic, “Claridad,” premiering today (Mar. 30) exclusively on Remezcla.
Originally written by Italian pop-rock singer Umberto Tozzi and made a Latin American sensation by Menudo, Carrion Kids put their own stank on “Claridad” with breezy guitars and driving rock drums. “We’re fans of good pop and power rock,” says the band via email, pondering their counterintuitive yet delicious reinterpretation of the Boricua boy band.
“Speaking specifically about Menudo’s songs, we feel they have riffs and melodies that lend themselves to being twisted. We’re currently working on a new album with Julián Lede [Silverio] as producer, so we’ve never felt more comfortable and rotten,” Carrion Kids add.
But they also preserve the original’s effervescent pop spirit, despite deceptively dark storytelling that crescendoes in pleas for sunlight to drive the shadows away from their bedrooms and minds. Those same cheeky contrasts are found in the music video for “Claridad,” directed by Carrion Kids keyboardist and manager Jasmina Hirschl, shot over a night of partying in Acapulco’s Playa Caletilla. Grainy filters, worn out Vans dug into the sand, and plenty of beer cans peppered about underscore the song’s snarling, danceable catharsis–a universal gamut of emotions.
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Despite their underground platinum status, Carrion Kids aren’t just local dive bar favorites. In recent years, the band has become a staple of Seattle’s dizzying Freakout Festival and the West Coast punk circuit while still finding time to cultivate and grow their hometown scene via DIY noise jamboree MonkeyBee Festival. Their hunger for new projects and shit stirring has also led to a wild weekly how on La Bestia Radio and a guest spot from lucha libre legend Kemonito in the Evil Dead-inspired music video for “Por Mi Culpa.”
“My relationship with Carrion Kids has been a blessing,” adds AJ Dávila, who’s toured with the band for years and crafted the song’s Motown-esque bass lines. “The friendship that blossomed between us has become like family. You can really feel the love between Mexico and Puerto Rico on this version of ‘Claridad.’”
The song convenes a veritable Avengers of punk filth, layering guitars from Rodrigo (Rojo) Blanco, Johnny Otis Dávila, and Vondré’s Liz Olivares, while Julián Lede folds prismatic synths into the mix to keep things wavy. “Back in his tender youth, Julián used to dance to the rhythm of ‘Claridad,’ which makes this collaboration a sort of emotional blackmail with the best intentions,” says Lede, channeling Silverio’s twisted wordsmithing. “On the other hand, [I’ve been] impressed with Carrion Kids’ shows, which are filled with unhinged partying and moronic dancing.”
“It’s an honor to be working in the studio with Julián,” add Carrion Kids, teasing their forthcoming, Silverio-produced record. “He inspires us and takes every song to an even more deranged place. Your ears are going to suffer, but your body is going to dance.”
Check out the music video for “Claridad” below.