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MP3 Liquid Cheese - Tres Equis

They capture the feel-good essence of ska, the appeal of modern rock, the musical complexity of jazz and the infectious rhythms of latin, reggae and salsa music.

6 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Ska, LATIN: Latin Pop

In the same way that a hybrid of Spanish and English dialect has become known as "Spanglish," Southwestern bands enamored by ska music have added their homegrown flavors and spices to come up with a subgenre of ska called, well ... there''s no name for it yet.

But bands like El Paso''s Liquid Cheese, the members of which likely grew up surrounded by a fair amount of Spanish and Mexican music, are fusing the music born in Jamaica in the early ''60s with their traditions and arriving at something that is easily danceable, full of energy and highly entertaining. At the same time, it pays homage to their roots.

Each incarnation of ska music, referred to as "waves," is characterized by a drastic change in sound, tempo or style. Could this as yet unnamed fusion of Tejano, norteƱo, ska, rock and punk be a new paradigm?

Liquid Cheese''s recent release, titled "Tres Equis," is a mere six songs long. But in that span, the group covers a great deal of ground. From uptempo blasts of straight-forward ska to rich, brassy improvisations that hint at mariachi music to fervent tribal percussion, Liquid Cheese creates incessantly driving ska rhythms.

Formed in 1996, the group consists of seven members including Roy Morales (guitar), John-Michael Vasquez (saxophone), Jesse Sullivan (bass), Shawn Hunton (guitar), Sam Sullivan (trumpet), Danny Sullivan (drums), Doug Neal (percussion). Its definitive sound is the culmination of a decade of work and a handful of recordings, as well as more than 1,000 performances, some to crowds of over 10,000.

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