Pancho Villa’s Skull can be found in Mexico, Texas and on my MP3 player
First things first, Pancho Villa was a Mexican revolutionary leader. Actually he was one of the more famous, prominent and vilified figures of the Mexican Revolution. After his assassination in 1923 his body was buried xxx. This is where the story should of ended, you know with death and burial, but life has a twisted sense of humour. In 1926 the body was dug up and the head was removed, along with other body parts. The death mask ended up in a girl’s school, the trigger finger in an El Paso pawn shop. The body was said to have been reburied near where he was assassinated, but there is an official burial site in Mexico City. But the head has never been recovered or accounted for. Right about now I expect you are thinking “But what does this have to do with music?” The answer is simple and concise. Pancho Villa’s Skull is the name of a Mariachi Punk band from Detroit.
Since 2013 Pancho Villa’s Skull (PVS) have been releasing catchy, slightly political acoustic bangers. When you listen to their music you might not immediately hear the Mariachi or punk influences, but they are there. It was never going to sound like Mariachi El Bronx was it Instead they sound far more classic and timeless. Their new EP The Mariachi Punk EP is a mixture of old and new songs, and this suits us at thisyearinmusic fine! The opening track features the Moonstar String Duet and doesn’t really set up the EP as you’d expect. Instead of blistering guitars and shouty vocals we’ve presented with luscious strings and delicate melodies. No Mas is up next and this is a true assessment of what is to come. Shouty vocals and rhythmic guitars are the order of the day. This is a catchy three minute stab of political punk. Next up is an old favourite Sangre Inmigrante. Again it’s the same blueprint of exquisite guitars and delicate percussion. The chorus is “I don’t know how you got here and I don’t really care. We are all global citizens and we breathe the same air”. This is a statement that isn’t just true it’s sung with vibrancy and passion. This is the war cry of the migrants, underclass and undervalued in society. The rest of the EP is equal to its opening, but never quite surpasses it. Injusticia closes The Mariachi Punk EP in fine singalong form and begs and implores you to play it all again, due to its catchy vocals and viscera guitar work.
Pancho Villa’s Skull may have a macabre name but their music is anything but. It’s asks us questions that we all should be able to answer. It is unapologetic in its verve and vigour and above all its very, very, very good! So where is Pancho Villa’s Skull? Ultimately who knows, but for now it’s living in my MP3 player, harddrive and most importantly in my head!