Pistolera constructs music for border landscapes from rhythms and genres most New Yorkers typically do not associate with indie-rock and yet, in less than two years, the band has built a broad fan-base from every borough in the city. While a band like Calexico juxtaposes blues and hints of mariachi music to form relaxed and cinematic atmospheres, and El Gran Silencio integrates vallenato, dub, cumbia and hip-hop into an energetic mix—Pistolera’s debut album, “Siempre Hay Salida” approaches border sounds with an indie-rock sensibility and feminine sophistication.
Siempre Hay Salida was exceptionally recorded and produced in New York by Charlie Dos Santos (Los Van Van, Barbarito Torres), who helped accentuate the participation of each member and crystallize a sound that balances these diverse musical styles. Ani Cordero on drums, Maria Elena on accordion and Inca B. Satz on bass drive Pistolera’s vibrant style, which incorporates the festivity of cumbia into tracks like “Algo pa’que te olvides” and Ladrón, or the roughness of norteña to address the injustices and racism faced by Mexican migrants along the Mexico-US border on the song “Cazador”. The same nortena style drives “Tatuaje” and fits the topic of drinking—¡de noche y también por la mañana!—on “Me gusta tomar” nicely. Tracks like, “No suspires” and “No te olvidare” are driven by the introspectiveness of traditional Mexican music and complement the forcefulness of the rest of the album. Pistolera’s songs are all written in Spanish by band front-woman Sandra Lilia Velázquez, and the lyrical structure of her writing highlights the bi-cultural fluidity that makes her band appealing to rock and norteña fans alike.
Pistolera’s recent sold-out CD release show at Joe’s Pub in Manhattan, the success of a recent California tour that included San Francisco, Berkeley, Los Angeles and San Diego, and the fact that the band’s music can now be heard on various radio stations across the country and is scheduled to tour the southwestern United States, and Europe point to the bands mounting appeal and potential. Siempre Hay Salida is not a great album simply because it blends musical styles—it’s a great album because it’s warm and tightly put together—it’s a fun rock album with lots to say. For more information about the band visit: www.pistolera.net and www.myspace.com/pistoleramusic .