Since 1992, Grupo Exterminador has been one of the more enduring bands on the entire norteño scene in either their native Mexico or in the United States.
Lead vocalist Juan Corona, who had been singing since the age of nine when he won his first televised children's competition, moved to Los Angeles with his brothers and formed Los Hermanos Corona in 1992. They played rancheras, romantic ballads, corridos, and conjuntos, and hard-scrabbled their way through weddings, local parties, and festivals for a couple of years.
Despite struggling with day jobs and being paid little for their performances, the band quickly established a reputation for their showmanship. They cut several self-recorded albums and a pair for small labels to sell at shows before they changed their name to Grupo Exterminador. Almost immediately, EGO Records offered them a deal. They cut Dos Plebes, Vol. 2, their first and only album for the label in 1994.
El Grupo Exterminador created a carefully articulated three-pronged attack: tough, no-nonsense corridos of tragedy and violence found in the news about Central and Latin America, homespun, old-timey rancheras and bandas, and beautiful romantic ballads. Fonovisa signed the band to a long term deal in 1995. It was the beginning of long relationship that spawned 15 albums including hits such as Dedicado a Mis Novias and Corridos Perrones 1, both in 1996, Narco Corridos, Vol. 2 in 1997, Contrabando en los Huevos in 1999, A Calzón Quitado in 2002, Narco Corridos, Vol. 3: De Parranda con el Diablo in 2003, and Adicto a Ti in 2007. The band left Fonovisa after 2008's Duelo de Valientes: Corridos Endiablados. Grupo Exterminador experienced great success commercially and critically. During that tenure, the band transformed itself into the prime purveyor of the new sound of narco-cultura 2.0.
After a long international tour, they eventually signed a one-album deal with Skalona Records, who issued La Fiesta in 2010, Vamonos de Fiesta in 2011, and El Punto Exacto in 2012. The latter two of these recordings would land the band back on the charts for another go round. They jumped labels again at the end of 2012, signing to Vene Records for the release of the high charting Pachangón en el Infierno, their most explicit and sophisticated collection to date, which circles outlaw and narco culture all the way back to the days of Pancho Villa before coming back to the present day. ~ Thom Jurek
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