In the forwarding of Ernesto Lechner’s 2006 book, Rock en Español: The Latin Alternative Rock Explosion, Lechner explains how the rock groups coming out of Latin America in the 1990’s helped change his outlook on Latin Rock. Growing in Argentina, Ernesto had a bias against Latin American musicians hell-bent on imitating their Anglo counterparts. However, it was groups like Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, Café Tacvba and Gustavo Cerati that showed him that Latin Rock had more to offer the world of music than sheer imitation: these artists had something to say.
In the mid-nineties I had a similar revelation. My friend Juan Carlos educated me on the music of the groups that I no knowledge of growing up in the states. It was instant love for me when he played me Maldita Vecindad, Fabulosos Cadillacs and Mano Negra, all of whom sang about issues that related directly to my life: songs about not belonging, of immigration and the effects of colonialism that affects indigenous people to this day. One of my favorite groups of this era was Todos Tus Muertos.
For one, I grew up as a huge fan of The Bad Brains and there were many similarities between the two bands. Todos were a rock band at heart, with excellent musicianship that meant they could play both heavy and fast. Then much like The Bad Brains, they could switch gears and play Reggae. Todos Tus Muertos (translation: All Your Dead) were energetic singers. Pablo and Fidel were both black. But that is where their likeness ends. Todos were Dancehall based compared to The Bad Brains’ Roots Reggae style. Also Todos would add elements of other Latin music like Cuban Son. Lyrically, Todos were leftist, influenced by both Latin American & Jamaican icons such as Che Guevara, Augusto Sandino, Emiliano Zapata, Marcus Garvey and Subcomandante Marcos.