Sometimes an unexpected run-in of like-minded people can create a significant change in our lives. Sometimes it all comes down to fate. While they may not have won the lottery or anything, a little touch of fate is what made Toronto psych-punk, noise-pop trio Mexican Slang what they are today. Vocalist/guitarist Annabelle Lee started Mexican Slang as a solo recording project in her attic, self releasing a handful of digital EPs. Thanks to a serendipitous meeting outside of a show with bassist Jimmy Tony and drummer Den Holm, Mexican Slang has since flourished into an unstoppable musical force to be reckoned with. In 2013 they impressed with their live performance as an up and coming act at NXNE Festival, alongside the likes of Destruction Unit and Perfect Pussy. Now their debut EP Inside the Velvet Castle just dropped this week on Buzz Records, a nice taste of what’s to come while we await the planned release of their full length album.
Why We Dig Them:
Mexican Slang have that admirable DIY spirit: writing, playing, recording and mixing all their own music. Not to mention, vocalist/guitarist Annabelle Lee took the reigns and directed their debut music videos for “Blisters” and “Halycon” for which she deserves kudos. Watch the videos below.
The EP consists of four solid tracks that play in just under twelve swift minutes. “Blisters,” “Pink Fog,” and “Halcyon” all stood out to me and I found myself listening to them over and over, not just because they were good but because I wanted more.
“Blisters” bursts from the seams with raw and melodic sound and feeling, and the insanely maddening but addictive guitar riff really propels the song into some kind of acceptable form of musical evil genius.
“Pink Fog” mixes things up with a bouncy drum beat and reverberant surf guitar. It has some pop sheen to it but never loses its edginess, the definite hip shaker track on the EP. The band has mentioned The Cramps as one of their personal influences, and you can definitely hear that here.
“Halycon” ends the EP on a gloomy but satisfying note. Heavy tom driven beats and thunderous cymbals set a dark and mysterious tone for this eerie but entrancing, slow paced, psych fueled rant.
Vocalist/guitarist Annabelle Lee revealed to us her favorite slang term, what makes their home base of Toronto so special, most memorable concerts and the sometimes unlikely places where she draws inspiration from.
On her favorite slang term, Mexican or otherwise…”Turd burglar — one who burgles turds. This will never stop being funny to me.”
On what makes Toronto so great (and it’s not Tim Horton’s or Hockey)…”The best thing about Toronto is that you can do anything here. You can break your arm and get it fixed for free, lounge on a nude beach all day then get a deep fried Mars bar delivered to your apartment at 2am.”
On the best concert she’s been to (other than her own)…”It’s a toss up between seeing the Tupac hologram doped out of my gourd or Sonic Youth when I was 17. They opened the show with “Teenage Riot” and I just lost my mind. I’ll remember that feeling forever.”
On where her inspiration comes from (musical and otherwise)…”Life experiences and observations mostly. Social criticism, weird relationships with other humans. Baudelaire, Fugazi, astrophysics, sugary desserts. Period cramps. The way your face scrunches up right before you sneeze.”
Three Words to Describe Mexican Slang: Hypnotic — Fierce — Mesmerizing
Upcoming Shows: No West Coast shows currently scheduled, stay tuned!
Words: Emily Saex