Country Grammar is a recurring monthly column about country music. The purpose of this column will be to analyze and demystify country releases, large or small, and help halt the notion that Country music is somehow less deserving of introspective analysis than rock, rap, or pop. It will highlight the great moments, and occasionally, dig deep into the bad ones, but the goal is always to bring more attention to a genre that is far too often swept under the rug due to class assumptions or music criticism’s clear rockist past.
Miguel Méndez is the pen name for a Mexican-American author best-known for the novel Peregrinos de Aztlán. That’s probably who will come up if you try to search for Miguel Méndez, but that’s not who we’re talking about today. Today, the debut edition of Country Grammar is focused on Miguel Mendez — no accented é — and his second album Love Is For The Rich, which came out last month via the fiercely independent central California coast taste-making label Deathbomb Arc.
Given that Deathbomb is generally focused on noise, rap, and experimental heavy music, it says a lot that they’re co-signing a country record. This isn’t Miguel’s debut — that came in the low-key 2005 release My Girlfriend Is Melting — but it is his first major step toward envisioning himself as a music-maker, and specifically a solo artist. And it shouldn’t surprise anyone much that Deathbomb was there before that 2005 full-length, quietly releasing his 2004 7″, after all, this is the guy who helped break Clipping, don’t forget that.