Chicano Batman's name is more than just eye-catching, it's a testament to their superhero-like reputation in the Los Angeles music scene since their inception in 2008. Blending Latin music and Brazilian tropicalia with soul, R&B and '70s psychedelic music has taken these L.A. natives across the globe, seducing more and more fans in their wake. Their feel-good, 'oldies style music is reminiscent of something heard decades ago on Art Laboe's radio show, cruising down Sunset blvd. in Los Angeles.
10. "La Tigresa"
No song may be more suited to start this list off than this defining instrumental track off of Chicano Batman's 2012 EP, Joven Navegante. A true blend of 70's psychedelic rock and soul combined with a Latin music influence constructs the perfect blueprint for this mesmerizing song that showcases the band's amazing instrumental talent.
A soothing blues guitar riff meets our ears with Spanish lyrics that hypnotize us into imagining the Aztec dancer this song's title is a reference to. When digging through the translated lyrics, this song, off the band's 2010 self-titled album, reminds us of how music can sometimes be a magical and spiritual defining experience for millions across the globe.
8. "Angel Child"
Off of the 2017 album, Freedom is Free, comes this love melody about lead singer, Bardo Martinez's daughter. "Angel Child' warms our soul with beautifully complex transitions, an addicting bass line and throwback, doo-wop vibes that drive the song. Psych-rock elements lead this song in to a rhythm changing chorus that sounds like it could have come off a Ritchie Valens album in the late 1950's.
Chicano Batman maintain their soulful oldies style and reputation with this jam off of their 2014 album, Cycles of Existential Rhyme. "She Lives On My Block" reminds us of how organic dating used to be before dating apps and social media took over. "A heavy haze that makes her photographic, placed on a pedestal, in the crack in between my brain, tagged in braille writing in my cerebral wall" are some lyrics that show how truly poetic our Chicano superheroes can be.
6. "Freedom is Free"
Chicano Batman's brilliant take on a social and political statement ended up evolving into one of their best songs and the title track off of their 2017 release. Meditative lyrics such as "But you know and I know, that the galaxies are all around us, and life will flow on as long as the grass grows and the water runs" have us believing in humanity and the power of music as an olive branch towards a peaceful existence.
A fiery woman they call "Magma" seems to be the next foe to our soulful heroes. "Magma what was the first words I said, and why did I say them, Magma you know cause you melted my bones and my brain" cries Bardo Martinez in this jam that's driven through a few masterful guitar solos from Carlos Arevalo and a gorgeous howling organ.
Off of the band's 2010 self-titled album comes "Soniatil," which speaks of a beautiful woman that perseveres through the difficulties in life with her positivity and her dreams of creating a better world by helping people. The song is driven by a constant whistling beat that almost resembles a story being told on an old-timey cartoon.
3. "Black Lipstick"
Released in 2015, "Black Lipstick" offers up a warning to beware of the beautiful girl in black lipstick who swindles her way into hearts before she tears it apart. The song begins with eerie lyrics such as "Her blood was red, but now it's blue," which immediately has us picturing this woman as a dangerous, blue-blooded creature like a tarantula or scorpion. This villain-esque woman was obviously not a match for our Chicano superheroes, who lived to tell the tale.
Who wouldn't want to be friends with some guys in a Latin soul rock band dressed like they're going to a '70s prom? Harmonious backup singers preach that "Friendship is a small boat in a storm," while Bardo sings a musical tale of betrayal and the sanctity of true friendship.
The title track off their 2014 breakthrough album is arguably the band's most well-known song and a lyric lover's dream. Greeting listeners from the beginning is the wail of that soulful organ which leads them through this ballad of musical and physical existence. Exercise the rhythm of a place in time and go see Chicano Batman live as soon as possible.