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Essential Mexican Rock Bands

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For more than three decades, Mexican Rock bands have been playing an important role in the overall evolution of Latin Rock. From the birth of the Rock en Espanol movement to the recent boom of Latin Alternative music, the following artists have defined Mexico's Rock scene. Let's take a look at them.

El Tri

Photo Courtesy Giulio Marcocchi / Getty Images
Photo Courtesy Giulio Marcocchi / Getty Images

El Tri is one of the most legendary bands in the history of Mexican Rock. Led by the bass player Alex Lora, El Tri has been producing music since the 1960s. Originally named Three Souls in my Mind, El Tri has a rich repertoire that includes nearly 40 studio albums. Some of their most famous songs include tracks such as "Triste Cancion," "El Enmascarado De Latex" and "Las Piedras Rodantes."

Zoe

Photo Courtesy Michael Loccisano / Getty Images
Photo Courtesy Michael Loccisano / Getty Images

Although the music of Zoe has been mainly labeled as Latin Alternative, I have included this band on this list because it exemplifies in a good way the different musical paths that Rock music has opened up in Mexico. If you want to explore Zoe's pleasant and psychedelic sound, some of their most popular tracks include singles such as "Labios Rotos" and "Nada." Their MTV Unplugged Música De Fondo album is great.

Botellita de Jerez

Photo Courtesy Discos Manicomio
Photo Courtesy Discos Manicomio

Born in 1982, right when the Rock en Espanol movement was taking off, Botellita de Jerez is one of the first Mexican bands to produce a fusion sound that combined classic Rock beats with traditional Mexican music. The band called that fusion Guacarrock, a word derived from the mix of the words Rock and Guacamole. Their repertoire, which revindicated lower social classes includes popular tracks such as "Alarmala De Tos," "Guacarrock De La Malinche" and "Asalto Chido."

Caifanes/Jaguares

Frazer Harrison / Getty Images
Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

From the original band Caifanes to the later group Jaguares, the sounds of this band have left an important imprint in the Mexican Rock scene. The two bands have been guided by Saul Hernandez, the legendary Caifanes' lead singer. Some of the most popular songs recorded by Caifanes/Jaguares include tracks such as "La Negra Tomasa," "Te Lo Pido Por Favor, "Afuera," and "La Celula Que Explota."

Cuca

Photo Courtesy BMG Mexico
Photo Courtesy BMG Mexico

Even though the life of Cuca was ephemeral, this Mexican Rock band from Guadalajara enjoyed lots of popularity during the 1990s thanks to the irreverent sound of their music. Their debut album Invasion De Los Blatidos took the Mexican market by storm thanks to songs such as "Cara De Pizza" and "El Son Del Dolor."

Panda

Photo Courtesy Kevin Winter / Getty Images
Photo Courtesy Kevin Winter / Getty Images

Born in the mid-nineties, this band from Monterrey is one of the most popular names of the Mexican Alternative field. After playing for some years, the band achieved new levels of popularity in 2005 with their album Para Ti Con Desprecio, a work that marked the birth of a new sound for the band. The follow up production Amantes Sunt Amentes further enhanced the appeal of the group. Although the band is still referred to as Panda, the official name of this group is Pxndx. Top songs include tracks such as "Los Malaventurados No Lloran" and "Narcicista Por Excelencia."

Cafe Tacvba

Kevin Winter / Getty Images
Kevin Winter / Getty Images

Cafe Tacvba is one of the most influential bands in the history of Mexican Rock and Latin Rock as a whole. Their music provides a rich fusion that mixes everything from Rock and Ska to traditional Mexican music. Some of the classic hits from Cafe Tacvba's repertoire include tracks such as "La Flores," "Eres," "Dejate Caer" and "La Ingrata."

Molotov

Photo Courtesy Universal Latino
Photo Courtesy Universal Latino

Since the mid-nineties, Molotov has been capturing audiences with their rebellious music style and explicit lyrics. Very often, indeed, the words of their melodies encompass a social voice that addresses different issues related to inequality and exploitation. Classic tracks from Molotov's repertoire include singles like "Puto" and "Frijolero."

Maldita Vecindad

Photo Courtesy Karl Walter / Getty Images
Photo Courtesy Karl Walter / Getty Images

Maldita Vecindad y Los Hijos del Quinto Patio, as it is officially called this band, was born in 1985. From the very beginning, their music has been shaped around an eclectic fusion that combines Rock, Ska and traditional Mexican music. Besides their local impact, this band played an important role in the overall development of Rock en Espanol. Some of the most popular songs from Maldita Vecindad include tracks like "Kumbala," "Un Gran Circo" and "Pachuco."

Mana

Photo Courtesy Carlos Alvarez / Getty Images
Photo Courtesy Carlos Alvarez / Getty Images

Mana is by far the most popular Rock band from Mexico. The group was officially born as Mana in 1985. Although their 1980s were marked by little success, the music they produced during the 1990s transformed this group into an international phenomenon. From their breakthrough album Donde Jugaran Los Ninos to the 2011 work Drama Y Luz, Mana has never stopped pleasing Latin Rock fans across the globe.

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