My first rock n’ roll experience was watching Guns and Roses’ “Welcome to the Jungle” on MTV at my babysitter’s house when I was in fourth grade. I loved it, and practiced Axl’s sway-to-sway foot work in the mirror for months. I insisted that my babysitter crimp my entire hair and I had a bob haircut, so I looked like a huge cotton ball when she was done. My first metal experience came later when my best friend in sixth grade introduced me to her sister’s collection of 80’s vinyl records. We practiced head banging in her bedroom with the volume at full blast. My first baile-funk experience was purely by accident when I saw Tetine perform at Nublu about 5 years ago. I remember Eliete singing “lick my favela!” and could only imagine what she was referring to. All three music styles have influenced me beyond full explanation but now, Bonde Do Role’s new album, With Lasers (Domino/Mad Decent), has taken all these styles into one pot in an amazing way.
I’ve been a fan of this Brazilian trio for a while and own a bunch of bootleg songs and remixes, so when With Lasers came out, I was ecstatic.The band uses mostly samples and are known in the United States thanks to Diplo, who has been touring with them for the past year and signed them to his label, Mad Decent. Many of us knew them as the guys who covered Grease songs– baile funk style ! I must admit, that after seeing them perform live at Studio B in Brooklyn in March and listening to the full album song-by-song, I feel this trio are a lot more hardcore than I thought. The album features cheesy metal guitar riffs, baile-funky drum beats, a few Nintendo-like sound clips, funny mouth noisemakers, and lots of Portuguese lyrics belted out with a tang of vulgarity. If you’ve ever seen them live, their behavior on stage is vulgar and entertaining. The singer, Marina, is often grasping her breasts, humping the floor or her bandmates, and attempting to deep throat the mic. Though the majority of Bonde fans in the US don’t speak a single word of Portuguese, this doesn’t prove to be a problem at all. The lyrics become part of the overall rhythm and beat in each song and set the tone of dark and death metal (“Danca do Zumbi” and “Bondallica”), happy and hardcore (“Solta O Frango” and “Geremia”), and baile-funky (“Marina Gasolina” and “Divine Gosa”). And without understanding a word, you know it’s something dirty.
I feel this album proves to have a well rounded collection of songs that you can listen to from beginning to end without asking yourself “didn’t I just hear this song?.” Their live shows are really fun to witness, so buy the album, listen to it religiously (with the mini poster CD insert of a satanic-looking red Jesus and lightning bolts taped to your wall!), and buy a ticket to their show when they are in your town!