Naucalpan, Estado De México- Son Rompe Pera, the marimba-smashing band of brothers from Naucalpan who have single-handedly defined the genre ‘Cumbia Punk’ and captivated audiences around the world have released their second album, Chimborazo, today via AYA Records. The album, named after a street in Naucalpan where a couple of the brothers live/have lived, follows their 2020 debut Batuco, and is also a complete departure from it. While Batuco showcases a more folkloric, traditional sound by way of 9 covers, Chimborazo delivers 12 original tracks that fiercely shake tradition at its roots. Much closer to what the world has come to know of the band’s wild live shows, Chimborazo is a mix of modern cumbia, tropical dance beats, hard-hitting punk, psychedelic guitars, traditional Mexican and Colombian rhythms, horns, and a pinch of dub and hip hop. It’s an album that is as rebellious as it is reverent– gracefully embracing tradition while ripping it at the seams, one marimba mosh pit at a time.
Son Rompe Pera headed to Colombia, the birthplace of cumbia, to record the album. A cumbia pilgrimage of sorts, the band found it essential to take a mirror to their knowledge of the genre to ensure that they were doing it justice. The experience, however, ended up being much more expansive than anyone had anticipated. Chimborazo was recorded at Mambo Negro studio over 7 days in 2022, and produced by Colombian Producer Mario Galeano (Frente Cumbiero, Ondatrópica, Los Pirañas). Mambo Negro is as much of a home as it is a studio, fostering a community of musicians that wander freely through the space- many of whom ended up contributing to the record.
The album kicks off with a classic cumbia, interwoven with notes of Peruvian-inspired psych, “Selva Negra,” as if offering a seamless transition from Batuco into the new era. The record continues with “La Muerte del Amor,” an undeniably danceable ode to a desperate unending love with a repeating chorus sung in unison that begs "Regresa por favor/estoy muriendo sin tu amor" (Please come back/I’m dying without your love). The third track on the album is “Chucha,” a song that WNYC called a ‘frantic, Ramones-like rush of Marimbas’, that takes its name from a Chilean expletive, and is based on a dream that Mongo (Marimba/Vocals) had about an alien abduction. It was the first single to be released on the album, and comes alongside an otherworldly video.
Chimborazo also features a range of collaborations that help take the album into unexpected territory. Mario Galeano’s band Frente Cumbiero added horns to the album’s last track “Batuco Son,” taking one of the more traditional songs on the album to new, stranger heights. “El Tamal,” a joyful ode to the classic comfort food common in both Mexico and Colombia, is laced with gaita, marimba and merengue rhythms and features a collaboration with the band La Perla, who were constant companions in the studio. “Chico Migraña” is a dub and hip-hop leaning track that was the result of a spontaneous meeting with rapper N. Hardem. The album’s only cover song is of a lost Colombian gem “Toño y el Demonio” (Gustavo Rada), featuring accordion from Felipe Orjuela. Also featured on the album is long-time collaborator, Chilean superstar Macha (Chico Trujillo, El Bloque Depresivo) on “Chata,” as well as Chile’s Anarkia Tropikal on the guitar-driven track “Cumbia Pa Tu Madre”. Long-time friend and world-renowned guitarist Gil Gutierrez (Oaxaca, MX) adds a psychedelic twist to “Proteus”.
Featured on the album is a track whose name has almost become synonymous with the band itself, their manifesto, “Cumbia is the New Punk”. The song declares their devotion to and reverence for the two genres often thought to be on opposite ends of the musical spectrum, which they’ve proven can (and should) coexist countless times via their live show- and now their album. Chimborazo is a celebration of the sounds and their legacies that connect unassuming corners of the world, of tradition and the necessity to mix it up in order to propel it forward, of Mexico, of Colombia, of family, of home, of marimbas, of punk, and the party that is being alive.
Son Rompe Pera - Chucha - Music Video