Genitallica – McCarthy’s -Playa del Carmen, Mex. 2/24/2023

Whenever I travel, I always try and line up some sporting event or a concert to check out. Before leaving it looked like the only thing that might have lined up with our dates was a Lucha Libre wrestling match (which unfortunately we missed). While we were in Playa Del Carmen my wife and I stopped in front of a restaurant with a sandwich board that showed the entertainment was Electric Funeral. We asked the lady at the front what type of music did they play (please be Sabbath). She told us it was fun pop music (booo). I was almost giving up hope to find some entertainment on this trip.

One of the days was a relaxing day we spent by the pool, so I went online and started searching for things to to. I will be honest, my Spanish is pretty basic. Not bad for a tourist from Canada, but most of the words sail over my head. I wasn’t having much luck until I found a band name that really stood out to me. Genitallica. Cool. I love tribute bands. This one had a great name too. This would be a night were we know what was coming. We could just rock out to all the hits from Metallica.

We got to the venue at around 8pm and the place was packed. I noticed early on that there were no gringos inside. Playa del Carmen is loaded with tourists like myself who were non-Hispanic (gringo), and it was an Irish pub on a Saturday night, so I wrongly assumed this place would be packed with tourists. I saw a small stage setup at the back, but just to be sure I asked the bouncer if there was a band tonight. He said it was a Mexican band. Ok, so myself and my wife, being Canadians, were going to an Irish bar (I was the only half-Irish lad in there, so I sort of belonged) filled with Mexicans, in Mexico, to see a Mexican band. Got it. The bouncer told me it was $500 to get in. Luckily it was 500 pesos (about $36 CAD) for the 2 of us. We paid him the cash and went in. We grabbed some beers (about 2 bucks each) and made our way to the stage. If you’ve ever tried getting to the front of a concert in a packed venue, you know the deal. During covid I got even more adverse to my fellow humans being close to me. This place was on a whole other level though. There wasn’t one square inch of real estate not filled with one of my Mexican friends.

We chose a spot right up near the front/side, stage right, and close to the bathrooms (because I’m old). I can attest to the fact that capacity laws have no meaning in this place. Fire Marshall Bill would not be showing up to speak to management with his catch phrase “LET ME TELL YA SOMETHIN”.

The bar played some Spanish rock songs that the enthusiastic crowd sang along to. My wife and I didn’t know the songs, or the words for that matter, but no mind. The night was starting off on a fun note. The young lads in front of us were really giddy about being there. My wife has this thing about her that people radiate towards. Probably because she’s always smiling and friendly. Complete strangers will end up pouring their souls out to her. She could have easily become a counsellor or therapist. Anyway, the young lad in front of us started chatting with her. It turns out he is 23 (he looked 15 to me) and he and his cousin were in a band. He played bass (he pronounced it bose), guitar and keys. His cousin played drums. They asked me if I had seen some of their favourite bands (which I had), and they thought was so cool. They had that youthful energy about them, and barely stopped moving. They would often lead the chant “GENITALLICA!!! GENITALLICA!!!…” and the crowd would join in. The band was doing it’s best Axl Rose impersonation though. One Spanish song after another and more “GENITALLICA” chanting.

Then the band hit the stage and the place went completely nucking futs. The band were on fire and I could tell right away this was not a Metallica tribute band. They played original tunes all in Spanish. If I had to compare them to music I know, I would say a bit of Faith No More, some Red Hot Chili Peppers, maybe a bit of Green Day/Blink 182, some 90’s alternative, and the best of the early 2000’s Nu Metal bands thrown in for good measure. No matter the comparisons, the crowd ate them up. They resonated on every word and note played. They sang along, they jumped for joy and everyone had a good time.

As I mentioned before, I’m not a fan of being too close to others, but that couldn’t be helped here. I shielded my wife from the young guys I mentioned earlier in front of us. They were just so overcome by being able to see a huge band in their country, that usually plays large festivals in a small venue such as this. They were bouncing around so much it was almost like a slam dance. I put up with it because even though it was intense, it was fun. It reminded this old dude what it was like seeing a band I love right up at the front of the stage. Memories of seeing Van Halen, Green Day, Tragically Hip etc. back in the 80’s/90’s just made me smile. My wife and I really got into the groove. If there is no such thing as a magic potion to make you feel young again, then going to a show like this is the way to go.

I can’t give you a setlist as I knew none of the song titles, or even most of the words for that matter. Again, no matter. A great band is a great band. A great live show is a great live show. No matter the language or the location.

I am glad they weren’t a Metallica cover band. The place might have been full of drunk, loud, obnoxious tourists and the night may have ended in a bar brawl. Discovering a new band and reliving some memories of youth were worth the odd elbow and foot stomp. We left the bar as the band was doing their last song, and after getting through the Playa del Carmen Irish bar version of a zombie apocalypse, we stepped outside to see the line up of people hoping to get in stretching as far as the eye can see. Luckily we got there when we did or we would have missed out. Hopefully 2 happy people got to take our place inside.



Album Review: The Monks – Bad Habits (1979 Canadian LP)

This band (featuring ex-members of Velvet Opera,The Strawbs, Hudson-Ford) was a spoof on punk bands and was all but ignored in their native UK. The only issue is someone forget to include Canadians in on the joke. This album went to double platinum in Canada(which means 1 in every 120 people in Canada bought it) and was on constant replay on rock radio in the early ’80’s. Canadians loved The Monks so much that the band released a second album (Suspended Animation) that was released exclusively in Canada, and the bands only tour was a 21 day romp around Ontario, Canada. The band only lasted for 3 years, but many Canadians still remember this album fondly, and it is often seen in the used section of most record stores across the country. For me, I vividly remember sitting in my cousin’s living room at a farmhouse near Drayton, Ontario just like it was yesterday. For my 11 year old, strict Catholic upbringing self, seeing the front cover photo on the album which had a guilty looking nun smoking a cigarette with her skirt hiked up to show off her thigh high stockings. This was nothing like the nuns that taught me, let me tell you. Then the back cover showed her clothing discarded on the floor and the woman exiting dressed for a night on the town. Even if this album had sucked, it already had me hooked.

Johnny B Rotten – Johnny Rotten must not have liked the reference because he called the band “patronising rubbish” and “a poor imitation of the Sex pistols”. Apparently Canadians were not the only ones that were not in on the joke.

Drugs In My Pocket – The song starts off with footsteps, a tin can being kicked and a hypnotizing bass beat. My favourite part has to be the dialect about a mock drug deal with a Cockney buyer and a drug dealer with a Jamaican accent. The police siren and the guys running away end the song off with flair.

Love In Stereo – A song about a threesome relationship. “ wants to stay at home, the other wants a night out, one wants to read in bed, the other wants the light out. I don’t know what to do, ’cause I’m in love with you…..and you…” Sounds like a lot of work. One woman is enough for me thanks.

Bad Habits – More hypnotizing bass and vocals that went up a few octaves highlight this one. The creepy computer noises in the middle are as confusing in 2023 as they probably were in 1979, but they take little from this pretty decent song.

Spotty Face – Of note for me is the guitar work. I am 100% sure that the band Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet played the shit out of this album before they formed. This song is about not really fitting in with the “in” crowd. His “mates” will invite him along to buy beer but not really listen to what he has to say, and the girls run away from him. It reminds me of grade 9 when I wore my concert shirts with long hair, and the cool crowd was a bunch of posturing, preppy new-wavers. I didn’t try and fit in with them though. I found like minded people who thought I was cool just the way I was.

Dear Jerry, Don’t Try To Kill Me With Your Love, Norman – Songs title aside, this one has a really cool beat. It kind of reminds my of Police mixed with The Clash. Also more Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet sounds before that band even existed can’t be a bad thing.

Nice Legs Shame About Her Face – Side 2 starts off with this non-pc song, which was the only single to even get noticed in England. A mix of late 50’s Buddy Holly/early 60’s Dylan mixed with pub rock. I wonder if this song had a bit of influence on The Northern Pikes with their song She Ain’t Pretty.

Inter-City Kitty – More wicked bass work, and the distorted guitar work is pretty cool too. The exaggerated Cockney accent really stood out to this lad in the late 70’s.

Out Of Work Musician – Cool drumming mixed with sweet guitar work. This song might be the only song that drops an f bomb on an album with a nun on the cover that comes to mind.

I Ain’t Gettin Any – More Shadowy Men guitar work here accentuate this fun little ditty about a young man not having much luck with the ladies.

No Shame – A very Cars like song that Ric Ocasek would have been proud to call his own.

Skylab (Theme from The Monks) – A great guitar riff from the surf rock days accentuates this one. Although they were just one of the long line of British former folk musicians, spoofing on punk rockers while playing California surf music mixed with sci-fi mixed with spaghetti western, and appealing to mostly Canadians. Get in line lads.

The video below features the 1 night only show in 2012(which I am quite upset I missed), in which a who’s who of Canadian musicians played along with original Monks member John Ford. Please read the video description to see who played. Also go to for more info and music.

This album has both the brattiness of punk, and the catchiness of pop. Great writing, wonderful musicianship. catchy hooks. This album has it all. I even read a famous Canadian musician chose this as one of his desert island picks. It really is that great. You owe it to yourself to search this one out, or just come to an Ontario record store. It won’t be hard to find there.