Mario hailed from Hialeah, Florida, a tacky strip of bygone glory just north of Miami. I remember seeing Mario around the scene, his liberty spike hairstyle and whole English punk uniform set him apart. He was fond of telling people he was from England, though it was obvious he was Cuban, he even went as far as to develop a British accent, no easy feat when English is your second language. In 1983 Mario's band, The Menstrual Cycles self-released what would be their only recorded statement, their "Retirement Home" ep (sometimes referred to as "Half Skin Half Punx ep"). I remember really liking this record, even if Mario seemed a bit put-on.The 4 songs here are of the Varukers/Chaos UK style, not anything groundbreaking, however something about the guitar tone and Mario's sneering overly dramatic English vocals make this an endearing listen. "Retirement Home" kicks off with the title track.Many punk bands from Florida had songs decrying the plague of elderly people, old people suck and punks weren't afraid to say so . "Rejected from the Premises" and "Kill the President" are both pretty self-explanatory. The record closes with "Oi Warning" where Mario urges the listener to "Start a fucking riot." According to sources, eventually Mario did manage to get to England and live out his fantasy of being a postcard punk in the UK. Who knows, who cares, really. The awesome Dressed For The H Bomb blog (http://dressedforthehbomb.blogspot.com/) posted this, a slew of negative comments regarding Mario ensued and the man himself even chimed in, now going by the most excellent moniker of Von Shock. Oi!
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