Los Skarnales

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Los Skarnales formed in 1993, a time when Spanish rock outfits performing in their hometown of Houston were content to churn out generic covers of tunes by popular Mexico-based rock bands or, even worse,…
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Los Skarnales formed in 1993, a time when Spanish rock outfits performing in their hometown of Houston were content to churn out generic covers of tunes by popular Mexico-based rock bands or, even worse, lame interpretations of American hits. Los Skarnales co-founders Felipe Galvan, Jose Rodriguez and John Garcia, on the other hand, were tearing up the scene as an aggressive punk trio called Desorden The group changed its name to Los Skarnales (loose English translation: Brothers of Ska) in 1995, adding Josue Mares, a fan from the group's Desorden days. A talented artist and designer, Mares is also the band's graphic mastermind. He and Galvan collaborate on all Los Skarnales CD cover art and promotional material, including a fanzine-style "coloring book" that, among other things, documents Los Skarnales' rude-boy evolution in an offbeat comic strip.

The turning point in that evolution came -- more or less -- when Galvan and Rodriguez, increasingly drawn to classic surf and rockabilly, began sprinkling those elements into the mix. As the group's sound expanded, its audience also grew. In 1996, a mini-tour of the West Coast and the Southwest saw the band open for reunited Two Tone architects the Specials in Phoenix and perform with King Chango and a host of other acts at the Guateque Festival in Los Angeles. The band also traveled to Mexico for a series of gigs that culminated in a performance on the nationally televised variety show "Desvelados."

Meanwhile, back home, the band's imprint, Pinche Flojo, was beginning to find an identity of its own, and Garcia left the band to work full-time on developing the label. In 1997, the band released Vatos Rudos, followed by Suavecito Style in 2000.