Mexican Standoff is an exciting, new Toronto based band. Combining the gritty, driving, intense sounds of contemporary British Rock, with the spicy, soulful grooves of popular Latin music, Mexican Standoff presents a new flavour of intelligent and dramatic music.
According to several reviews, Radiohead mixed with Leonard Cohen and the Killers aptly describes Mexican Standoff's rugged, romantic power and stylized story-telling quality. The music’s dark, anxious energy sounds like the rock soundtrack to an epic film.
Teaming up with Hamilton producer, Jordan Abraham of Spectre Box, the band's first EP was recorded February of 2006. In 2007, Mexican Standoff took to live performances and completed their first full-length album, The Mirror Stage. In March of 2008, the band released their first music video, for the song Timeless.
Mexican Standoff’s The Nothing is used in the independent feature film, Kings, in which Jacob Richter plays the lead role. The full-length album is internationally available through the Mexican Standoff website, and various reputable music retailers.
Jake ~ Guitar / Vocals
Melinda ~ Keys / Percussion / Vocals
Azar ~ Drums
George ~ Lead Guitar
Marino ~ Bass
~The Mirror Stage - 2007 (full-length album)
~Mexican Standoff - 2006 (3 song EP)
Mexican Standoff - The Mirror Stage
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The first full-length release by this Toronto-based band is a tad formulaic, yes, but Mexican Stando...The first full-length release by this Toronto-based band is a tad formulaic, yes, but Mexican Standoff’s gritty guitar tones, folksy melodies and haunting lyrical arrangements have just that right amount of trendy alt-rock flavour. Frontman Jacob Richter has an interesting, Leonard Cohen tone. As the grooves escalate from swaggering guitar effects to danceable rock beats, Mirror Stage would land somewhere between the Natural Born Killers soundtrack and The Killers.
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Hamilton Music Notes - The Mexican Standoff
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THE MEXICAN STANDOFF Some readers will remember Jacob Richter from his days as guitarist with the...THE MEXICAN STANDOFF
Some readers will remember Jacob Richter from his days as
guitarist with the band Sara Somebody. The Ancaster High School
outfit would be part of a late nineties surge of new local indie
bands taking on the scene. Their eventual demise would see
drummer Kevyn Wright heading up Sailboats Are White, bassist
Carrie Ashworth moving on to JP Riemens’ Barflies and Richter
moving away to pursue music and a burgeoning acting career in
New York and Toronto.
The better part of a decade later and Richter has transformed
his role as sideman to front man with his acting career and with his latest musical outing The Mexican Standoff.
“When I moved back to Canada from NYC, the plan was for
me to finally record an album’s worth of material,” recalls Richter
on sessions completed with Hamilton producer Jordan Abraham.
“Mexican Standoff started as a solo venture purely out of
necessity. I have always adamantly resisted the singer/songwriter
format for myself and always envisioned a full rock band behind
“But I was on my own and eager to get recording so it was
much easier to assemble a team once others can hear what sound
you’re attempting to create with the hopes that an organic
sounding band would begin to form around the material and the
band name,” adds the singer. “For me, The Mexican Standoff
draws up an innate sense of drama and tension – it evokes the all
sorts of spooky, surreal, and desolate gothic imagery from my
favourite spaghetti westerns and contemporary films. I've always
enjoyed surrealism; I'd rather try and find artistic truths in a
fantasy, otherworld environment, and let them resound in the
With that creative goal and a love of English rock and Latin
rhythms, Richter has taken his solo project and fleshed out a
band that now features Jeff Leung (drums), bassist Marino Ojeda
(bass), Melinda Richter (keyboards) and George Rallis (lead guitar).
Musically, it’s Richter’s canny ability to be able to traverse both
the acting and musical stages in tandem that seems to be one of
the band’s strongest assets and forces each song to fuel an
artistic muse but with a delicately dramatic flair.
Acting school has offered a burgeoning acting career. Richter
is featured in the film, Kings, currently screening in the U.S.
festival circuit, as well as another in the works where he aptly
plays a struggling musician, but it’s with the music that he seems
to offer the quaintest of cinematic offerings from his musical mind’s eye.
“As a band, we all love songs with a strong sense of rhythm,”
says Richter. “Musically I want the raw lamenting and strong bass
presence of popular Latin music, mixed with the raw crunchy
guitar sounds, and anxious beats of British rock. The two genres
also better allows for edgy character–based voices like mine.”
“My theatre training allowed me to find my music voice,” adds
the singer. “It allowed me to bring a sense of character to each
song. Live, we are quite edgy and dynamic. A few songs will get
you up and dancing but most are designed to pull you in for a
listen. We work and shape our songs thoroughly so that they can
compel people to keep listening.
“We put on the sort of show after the Radiohead/Muse model
– we want the songs and the music to speak for us. Eventually, it
would be awesome to add the Pink Floyd style cinematics and
lightshow but that’s a bit above us economically at the moment.”
The Mexican Standoff plays this Saturday March 22 at The
Pepper Jack Café with The Abbreviation
A Mexican Standoff in Toronto?
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Normally an unfamiliar term used to describe a stalemate or a confrontation neither side can win, in...Normally an unfamiliar term used to describe a stalemate or a confrontation neither side can win, in this case it’s the name of a new band set to release its debut CD. On October 11th, Mexican Standoff (www.themexicanstandoff.com) held the CD release concert for their new album entitled “The Mirror Stage”, at Clinton’s Tavern in Toronto.
Sounding like Johnny Cash meets Radiohead, Mexican Standoff doesn’t aim to fit into any one specific genre. Though the band has its roots in Rock, at its core is an anxious, dark and eerie expression that lures the listener in and keeps them captivated. And according to Mexican Standoff’s front man Jacob Richter, the album provides a fresh sound few new bands offer: “I believe this album really helps change the perception that new bands rarely give anything different. Our music sounds like the rock soundtrack to a Sergio Leone spaghetti western. That’s what makes it so unique.”
Mexican Standoff achieves its unique sound by combining haunting, gritty folk melodies with the epic, driving rhythms of contemporary British Rock. Influenced heavily by legendary bands such as “The Beatles”, “Pink Floyd” and “Smashing Pumpkins”, Richter says he also seeks inspiration for the band’s music from his experiences as an actor, “I try to use the drama of theatre to give intensity and a sense of story telling to our music. It’s real emotions buried in fiction that helps create interesting characters and compelling lyrics throughout each of our songs.”
Already a hit amongst many of the college/university radio stations and currently available internationally on iTunes, Richter hopes to expand the band’s fan base once the CD is released.
Our typical set runs from about 45 minutes to 1 hour, and consists of a mix of both album and new material. Here's our quintessential arrangement: Modesty, Spanish Song, Porphyria's Lover, The Drift, Faux Apathy, Timeless, The Nothing, My Oldest Friend, The Beaches.
There are no upcoming dates at this time.