Manic Hispanic | Back in Brown

September 15, 2021 by Rachael Contreras

Manic Hispanic has been entertaining us with variations of punk rock “standards” in a light hearted “Chicano Culture” style for decades now. In addition to the kick-ass music, they are beyond funny on stage.
We have all loved their parities of songs like “God Save The Queen” (Sex Pistols) “The I.N.S. Took My Novia Away,” (Ramones) “Creeper is a Lowrider,” (Ramones) “Rudy Cholo” (Rancid) and how about “I Want To Be a Cholo! (Vandals).” The entire “Mijo Went to Jr. College,” (Descendents) album is a classic that will put a smile on your face.
Since the band’s inception there have been a few line-up changes. Change came to Manic Hispanic due to unfortunate deaths of original front man, Mike “Gaby“ Gaborno, and OG guitarist, Steve Soto. Both were deeply loved by the punk rock community, and both wanted Manic Hispanic to go on after them, even in a fun “Menudo” group way.
Fast forward to today and we can proudly say that Manic Hispanic has a new album complete with renditions of Fugazi’s popular punk song “Waiting Room” which translated to the Manic title of “Holding Cell,” and Bouncing Souls’ “True Believers” became “Mas Chingones,” as well as Steve Soto on each song. He may no longer be with us, but we can still hear him play on this new album since it was recorded in 2018 before he passed.
Current front-man Efrem Schulz told us, “If you knew Steve, you knew he was always in a ton of projects. He recorded these tracks before he died and we got the ‘okay’ from his family to continue to use them on this album. There are some people out there that think Manic continuing without Steve is weird but to us, there’s nothing weird about it. It’s what he wanted. He wanted to one day see Elvis Cortez join the band and that has since happened and he’s on this new record. This album, ‘Back in Brown’ is even on his label, Smelvis Records. We are just so happy to honor Gaby and Steve in this way.”

Schulz and the gang went all out with their enjoyable and humorous video, “Chancla Abuser,” which includes Schulz dressed as a mean old lady throwing chanclas (Mexican sandals or slippers) at her adult kid with long-distance and impeccable assassin-like targeting.
There’s another song titled, “I Want Some Chon Chon,” but we’ll leave the meaning of that one for a special surprise (Hint: If you’ve ever seen the cult classic, “Blood In/Blood Out” movie, you will know what we are talking about).
Schulz told us it took the band a long time to be able to listen Manic tracks after they lost Gaborno  and Soto. He said, “It used to make us sad, but after talking to the guy’s families, we started to get our heads in the right place to carry on Manic. Once again it makes us happy to bring smiles to fans faces and continue the band.”
Truth of the matter is their music makes people happy. With their sense of humor, you can’t help but smile whenever these guys take the stage.
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As for their resume, the bands that some of these guys came from are nothing short of extraordinary; The Transplants, Left Alone, The Cadillac Tramps, The Grabbers, Los Infernos and more! At one point, the band thought it would be fun to create an absurdly fake, but funny bio that fit their characters and band. Along the lines of the band was part of a work-release program to keep them off the streets created by their parole officer.
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Well, recently Schulz and Manic-drummer, Ruben were outside of a San Diego club before a Manic set. A news van drove up, then a lady with a microphone and guy with a camera went up to the duo and tried talking to them about the band with their inspiring story that was to be called, “From the Streets to the Studio.” But Schulz shut them down, laughing at how the news team thought their bio was real. This new information didn’t thrill the news team, and they were let down they had to chase another story. These are the kinds of unique experiences that follow this band and the hilarious stories they have to tell.
Manic Hispanic will be holding a special album release party at Alex’s Bar in Long Beach this Thursday, September 16th, which is also Mexican Independence Day! You can see them take the stage in their unique and fun way that will make you laugh in all the best ways. You can see that these guys put their familia first and the love they have for one another shows through their artistry and performance. They truly are one of a kind!
Bottom line, this ain’t no menudo incident, it’s just badass music that will make you laugh your ass off! So get out to Alex’s Bar and support this band, trust me…. it’s going to be a night you’ll talk about for years to come.
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ocmn 2021


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