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Why Are We Destroying Ourselves

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Album Review

Because Union 13's lead singer, Edward Escoto, sings so fast, it isn't always easy to understand the lyrics coming out of his mouth. You can appreciate the urgency and passion of Why Are We Destroying Ourselves?, the Latino punk band's second album, even if you can't always comprehend the lyrics. But this CD thankfully contains a lyric sheet, and anyone who reads the lyrics of the songs (some in English, some in Spanish) will realize that Union 13's members have a lot on their minds. This often thought-provoking effort has strong sociopolitical leanings and isn't without its share of anger — Escoto doesn't hesitate to speak out against the poverty, violence, and oppressive conditions that he has seen in the barrio of East L.A. But anger isn't the only element in Union 13's material, which draws on such influences as Bad Religion, Black Flag, and the Subhumans — many of the songs on this disc have a reflective quality and find Escoto trying to make some sense of the world around him. Not a perfect album but an often inspired and urgent one, Why Are We Destroying Ourselves? served as another reminder of the band's considerable potential.


Formed: 1992 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Not to be confused with hard rockers Union, Union 13 is a Latino punk band that came out of East Los Angeles' vibrant alternative rock scene of the '90s. The members of the bilingual outfit, which alternates between English and Spanish lyrics, were only in their teens when they formed Union 13 in 1992 and started playing backyard parties on L.A.'s heavily Latino East Side. Local gigs helped Union 13 members Edward Escoto (lead vocals), José Mercado (guitar), Ben Sandoval (guitar), Gerardo Navarro...
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Why Are We Destroying Ourselves, Union 13
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