Duelo de Valientes: Corridos Endiablados

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Duelo de Valientes: Corridos Endiablados Review

by Alex Henderson

It isn't hard to understand why Grupo Exterminador's hardcore fans hold them in such high regard: since the 1990s, they have been one of norteño's most exciting acts. Their work has had a great deal of substance, meaning, and depth, not to mention feeling. Another one of their positive traits is their sense of humor, which is alive and well on Duelo de Valientes: Corridos Endiablados (Duel of the Brave Ones: Devilish Corridos). As its title indicates, corridos are a high priority on this late-2008 release -- and Grupo Exterminador's storytelling is as engaging as ever on gutsy, arresting corridos such as "Dos Contra Seis," "El Coco," "El Hombre de Guerrero," "Ando Alineando Cabrones," and "Cantandole a Puebla." But not everything on Duelo de Valientes is a corrido. "Con la Misma Piedra" and "Dios Contra el Diablo," for example, are really rancheras rather than corridos. Not that the inclusion of some rancheras on a corrido-heavy album is a problem -- actually, it's a major plus. In regional Mexican music (norteño as well as banda and mariachi), rancheras and corridos have been going hand in hand for generations -- and regardless of whether Grupo Exterminador are performing corridos or rancheras, Duelo de Valientes never fails to have an edge. Grupo Exterminador's humor is not subtle, understated, or light humor; it is edgy, biting humor. Grupo Exterminador aren't known for catering to listeners who have delicate sensibilities or are easily offended, and they live up to that reputation on the excellent Duelo de Valientes.

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