Album Review: Mexrrissey – No Manchester [Cooking Vinyl, 4th March 2016]

Crossing a cultural border can be an exciting journey, especially when the lines that have been drawn are so fine that emotions, feelings, and dreams can be shared effortlessly between people in different lands. For the band Mexrrissey (Mexico plus Morrissey), drama has been the key to constructing a bridge towards countless new ideas for the Mexican pop music scene.

After a year of hard work with a live debut and two singles, ‘International Playgirl’ (2015), and ‘Estuvo bien’ (2016), Mexrrissey have launched their first album titled No Manchester. Released on March 4, 2016, Mexrrisey’s debut album takes listeners on a melodramatic trip with a distinct Mexican edge. Through musical genres such as mariachi, bolero, cumbia, and danzón, Mexrrissey captures the very essence of the classic Morrissey and Smiths songs, and in doing so reveals a lively new world of rock and pop in Mexico City.

For Cooking Vinyl, Mexrrissey has been an important project with No Manchester managing to create a significant connection between British and Mexican musical pop cultures. This cultural connection has also brought with it a fresh style with the violin, trumpet, accordion and vibes all working together to produce a particular timbre. The bold combination of acoustic and electronic instruments also giving a colorful vibrance to the arrangements of Camilo Lara and Sergio Mendoza.

Every aspect of the band and the music has been carefully chosen and worked. The meeting of long experienced artists (Adan Jodorowsky, Alejandro Flores, Alex González, Camilo Lara, Ceci Bastida, Jacob Valenzuela, Jay de la Cueva, Liber Teran, Ricardo Najera, Sergio Mendoza, and Zurdok) is part of the success, but credit must also be given to the work of Jack Lahana – winner of multiple Grammies – as mixer, and Camilo Lara as producer.

Having chosen classic Morrissey songs, such as ‘The First of the Gang to Die’, and cleverly reworking the lyrics, the first seven tracks of No Manchester have become the heart of the album. Tracks eight to twelve have been taken from Mexrrissey’s triumph in New York, last year. The goal of finding a Mexican connection to Morrissey’s poetry and re-imagining it with a unique Mexican flavour has certainly been achieved.