If you’re going to venture out solo from a storied band, you might as well make a big thing of it. Dani Bander, vocalist for the longstanding Mexican rock troupe La Banderville, is doing just that. His inaugural single, “Los Condenados,” is striking – almost startling.
Lyrically, it’s essentially a list of the damned, and it’s a distressingly long one. Liars, the heartless, the greedy, prisoners, the starving, and even people who have died early deaths are all included. The fact that not everyone’s made the list of their own volition doesn’t disqualify them from guilt or doom. According to Dani Bander, los condenados somos todos.
In terms of ensuring a jolt for the listener, he didn’t stop there. He’s coined a term for the style: Post-mariachi, which juxtaposes a base of traditional mariachi instruments (violin, trumpet, guitarrón, and vihuela) with electric drums and guitar, laced with reverb and distortion. The vocals are manipulated, too. Here, they’re a sinister echo like the fears and insecurities that keep crawling out from the confines of our subconscious minds, no matter how hard we try to keep them contained.
AJ Dávila lends backup vocals on the song, which he also produced. In fact, he’s produced the entire forthcoming full-length, recorded at Panoram Studios and mixed by Sacha Triujeque, known for his work with Gustavo Cerati. It’s titled Malacopa, and is slated for release next spring.
In the accompanying lyric video for “Los Condenados,” some of the worst offenders are pictured, with doodles both ironically decorative and straight-up demonizing scrawled over and around them, recalling the way a kid defaces magazines or yearbooks for fun. And if the song seems abruptly cut short, you’re right. It’s intentional. Dani Bander tells us he wanted to “shake the attention of listeners.” No kidding; mission accomplished.