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13 Mexican Punk Bands You Need to Hear Right Now

Here's some of the best acts from south of the border, from the '80s to present day

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Cremalleras (Spanish for "zippers") could be considered one of the premiere acts on Cintas Pepe Records (arguably the greatest Mexican punk label going, check them out here). This female-fronted duo are traditionalists in their punk; their bouncy songs recall the Avengers and their ilk. Start with the sharp "Ex-Novios" above, then visit their Bandcamp page here.

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Mexico City's Aborticidio marry the guttural vocals of straightforward '80s Japanese thrash-hardcore with more melodic instrumentation. You can leave your spiky jackets at home; this is more noise and punk than anything else.

3 / 13

Los Crudos

Los Crudos are a Mexican hardcore band from Chicago. Forming in the early '90s, disbanding at the end of the decade but reuniting a few years ago, Crudos are known for introducing Spanish-language hardcore into the predominantly white genre.

Their best known track is the delightfully offensive, "We're That Spic Band." Los Crudos were all about reclaiming their identity. You can't marginalize a group of people if they're adopting your hateful language!

After the group disbanded, vocalist Martin Sorrondeguy started Limp Wrist, arguably one of the best-known queer hardcore bands of all time. So, yeah: Good guys, good band!

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Massacre 68

Named after the October 1968 tragedy (crash course: cops shot into a crowd of students peacefully protesting in Mexico City), Massacre 68 is one of the best known Mexican hardcore bands of the '80s. Like much of the punk at the time, they were incredibly political, giving voice to young anarchists across the country.

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Los Monjo

Hailing from the poorest section of Guadalajara, Los Monjo play fast, '80s-style hardcore (think of them as a modern day Eskorbuto or Massacre 68.) Earlier this year the band threw Burnouts en Baja, a Tijuana punk festival, because their lack of bank accounts and credit histories meant they couldn't acquire U.S. visas. If that's not punk, nothing is.

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Austin by way of Mexico, Criaturas are the ultimate in female-fronted hardcore. Unlike most three-chord punk bands, Criatures ("Creatures" in English) are virtuousos, playing their instruments—vocals included—like extensions of their own being. If this band tickles your fancy, make sure to check out their sister band Kurraka.

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Los Macuanos

Los Macuanos might not sound like a punk band, but they do share the genre's ethos. They are the biggest name in the Ruidoson genre, which is traditional Mexican music filtered through weird, dark reverb synth.

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Destruye y Huye

A lot of Mexican bands form outside of the country, and many settle in California. This is the case for Destruye y Huye, an all-female punk band. The quartet are often found playing feminist fests like Ladyfest, so if racial equality and putting an end to sexism are your things (and why wouldn't they be?), look no further.

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The quintessential '90s Mexican hardcore title goes to Emperismo. Think ponderous d-beat, politically charged violence. Pretty straightforward—and totally heavy—stuff.

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Inservibles are the epitome of modern day Mexican hardcore, playing shows at major punk fests like Austin's (now defunct) Chaos in Tejas and basically leaving every town they play in ruins.

Inservibles are for fans of venomous tongues and New York hardcore a la Crazy Spirit or Hank Wood and the Hammerheads filtered through Void.

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Generacion Suicida

A lot of Mexican punk bands have migrated to South or East Los Angeles (there are more shows, it's easier to tour/navigate) and Generacion Suicida fit into that camp. The band is made up of '70s pogo punks that value melody and dancing over violence and circle pits. An inviting introduction to hardcore!

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De Nalgas

This not-so PC band wear their garage punk identity on their sleeve—even their political discourse arrives in joke form. Think of them as a Mexican version of the Casulaties

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Niégalo Todo

Self-described "chiapanecore" hardcore punk band Niégalo Todo find inspiration in everything from Wretched to Selena, which feeds into their classic, raw hardcore sound. All of their music treats the personal as the political and is written/performed entirely in Spanish—with good reason: Unlike some of the other acts on this list, Niégalo Todo are from the isolated region of Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas in Mexico—they really had to build their own scene from scratch.

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