Blending Latino culture with punk rock is not unheard of. The Casualties have been known to sing in Spanish; The Bronx have an entire side project devoted to Mariachi music, so the fact that San Antonio’s Piñata Protest have fused an accordion and snatches of traditional Mexican-American music with punk rock is not exactly ground-breaking. But the fact that they do it well, is worthy of attention.
Their sophomore album, El Valiente, finds the band tighter and more confident than their last outing. They switch back and for the between singing in English and Spanish, and the loud guitars meld beautifully with the bouncy accordion. What could easily be seen as little more than a cheap novelty is saved thanks to good lyrics and some impressive musicianship.
Though the bulk of these nine songs tend to hew more toward pop punk, the album closer, “Que Pedo,” is a surprising 45 seconds of hardcore punk (backed by accordion, of course).