Hierbabuena

Throughout this 14-track set, Los Razos deliver norteÑo with a rough edge and a Spinal Tap attitude.

Throughout this 14-track set, Los Razos deliver norteño with a rough edge and a Spinal Tap attitude. The title track maintains the group's tradition of none-too-subtle drug references. Elsewhere, there is a waltz that lists small towns in Michoacán, extolling the toughness of each ("Que Viva Mi Michoacán"), a cumbia steeped in double-entendre ("Mi Muñequito"), and a norteño that disses naysayers ("Que Se Traen o Que Les Duele"). More interesting moments include the wistful ranchera "Pensando en Tí" and the explicit norteño-rap "La Loquera," in which vocalist Sacramento Ramirez amiably allows that he's "no rapper." Ramirez's raspy tenor and campy exuberance have helped the group carve out sizable West Coast and Midwest followings. At the same time, his bandmates are solid, blasting out staccato bajo sexto and accordion jams. Los Tucanes have stronger hooks and Los Tigres more narrative skill, but Los Razos boast enough unusual elements and danceable grooves to remain a strong regional act.—RB