Jan 30, 2019

This long-tenured Brazilian quartet sounds nowhere near as kitschy nor as Epoxies-esque as the neo-Ed Fotheringham cover art would lead one to believe – there are no songs about sex droids nor surfing on Neptune (as far as I can tell, but the only Portuguese I know I learned from Superzan y el Niño del Espacio, and most of that was telepathic). Instead, they weld a sort of dark Estrus Records surf-rock vibe to a throbbing ooziness that suggests hairspray and shaken booties and might not have sounded out of place sandwiched between Ned’s Atomic Dustbin and the Soup Dragons on 120 Minutes, although I might be remembering that entire era incorrectly. Phrased somewhat less frivolously, this sounds like a cross between ’90s surf/garage and not-too-light, not-too-dark ’90s alternative rock, but assembled in such a fashion so that if you were more about the surf/garage and not so much about the alternative, you might very well still dig it. I suspect the Brazilian aspect of things gives this a certain otherness that prevents quick and easy categorization, even though the component parts seem pretty obvious. Half the time I think this disc just wants to crawl around on my floor, biting its thumb and dripping weird fluids on the carpet, but when they really put the hammer down, it’s like they’re frying my face in a skillet full of butter and hard drugs. Oh, heck, you had me at “Brazilian!” BEST SONG: “Ding Dong.” BEST SONG TITLE: “Creepy Echo.” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: If you’ve ever wanted to hear what Blondie’s “I Know but I Don’t Know” sounds like in Portuguese, today’s your lucky day, Melvin! Rev. Nørb (Soundflat)