Brazilian Girls (and Boys)
It doesn’t matter that the lyrics blaring from the speakers are a Portuguese mystery, Brazil’s Bonde do Role speak the language of party beats. Splicing elements of classic ’80s hip hop, Latin American punk, and booty-shaking, bass-heavy drums, With Lasers is an underdog: a world music contender going up against the American powerhouse music industry. Blurring the lines between hip hop and electro-rock, Bonde do Role meshes Afrika Bambaataa-esque drum loops and synthesizers with an array of South American-inspired percussion to create a fresh sound for the growing funk carioca movement of our neighbors down south. Worthy competitors to fellow Brazilians CSS, Bonde do Role’s unique take on dance music breathes new life into a young genre of experimental electro-punk.
Giving Yeah Yeah Yeahs front woman Karen O a run for her money, Bonde do Role vocalist Marina Ribatski dives head first into crowd-rocking chants, dance-inducing yells, and body-moving raps. Freely switching from edgy punk and heavy grunge on opening track “Danca do Zumbi” to Rock Steady Crew-like breakbeats on “Quero te Amar,” Bonde do Role bend, break, and defy genres track by track.
Scoring an underground hit with “Marina Gasolina,” a club staple with indie parties across the States, With Lasers shows a trio in its growing stage preparing to replace CSS as the world’s party band. Sadly, Bonde do Role recently lost the spastic Ribatski and have now replaced her with two new vocalists, Ana Bernardino and Laura Taylor, who both have huge shoes to fill. Overall, With Lasers takes listeners on a multicultural block party that finally gives international music a much-needed voice.