Every new music scene has its pioneering bands. For punk rock, it was the Sex Pistols and The Clash. For grunge, it was Nirvana and Pearl Jam. For rap, it was Run DMC. For Los Angeles? burgeoning Spanish rock scene in the 90?s, the pioneering band of this genre was undeniably Maria Fatal (website: www.mariafatal.net).
Maria Fatal consists of three brothers, Fernando, Ernesto, and Gabriel Ramirez and Pepe Alonso on drums. They established themselves as contenders in the international arena early on. In the 1990s, they were named -Best U.S. Rock en Espa?ol group by Mexico City's Ciudad Rock en Espanol Magazine Reader?s Poll and voted L.A.'s favorite and most popular rock en espa?ol band by La Banda Elastica Magazine Reader?s poll. Maria Fatal, however, has soared beyond Los Angeles into national and international waters, where in Guatemala, they have been nominated for "Best Song."
In 2006, some might question the relevance of a band like Maria Fatal in the midst of all the new bands and musical styles that have come out of the Los Angeles scene in just the last five years. That?s how long it has been since their last full-length release of new material. Despite that, Maria Fatal remains one of only a handful of Los Angeles Rock en Espa?ol bands that have released more than three CDs in their entire career.
Maria Fatal?s best work is not behind them but in front of them. Now, in their prime, they are ready to release their first disc of all new material in five years. The new disc shows Maria Fatal on the cutting edge of what is happening today in both Spanish rock and rock music in general. 2006 is the year Maria Fatal demonstrates that they are still at the top of their game with this long anticipated release, which will come out early this year. People who have heard advanced copies indicate that the Ramirez Brothers have not lost their touch and will gain new fans as well as please the old ones.
2006 opened with a bang for Maria Fatal. They played what some thought might be an ill-timed show. The House of Blues ? Sunset Strip on a Wednesday night. Just not any Wednesday night, but the night of the Rose Bowl with USC in the game for a three-peat (which didn?t happen). The promoters relaxed and their concerns were allayed when as usual for a Maria Fatal show, the venue filled with people eager to see and hear their performance.
Maria Fatal will next bring their classic sound next to the famous Conga Room on Sunday, January 15th(the day before MLK Day), where they will perform new material and play with one of the hottest new bands out of the scene, Orgullo Caf?. Also on the bill are local favorites Estigma and Estrella de Miel. The show is a showcase for MoFo Records, the independent label and studio launched to release Maria Fatal?s 2001 studio release. Tickets are $12 the day of the event and $10 in advance (at 323-259-5000).
Camilo Arenivar is a freelance journalist who has been covering the Spanish Rock scene for several years. He also has written movie reviews at Currentlyplaying.com and maintains a blog of his articles at http://camiloj.blogspot.com/