Bonde do Rolê

With Lasers

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AllMusic Review by

Brazilian funk carioca group Bonde do Rolê have been amusing and entertaining audiences worldwide ever since DJ-extraordinaire/tastemaker Diplo discovered the trio in their home country and signed them to his fledgling label, Mad Decent, in 2006. While Bonde do Rolê's earlier work was known for its gratuitous use of easily recognizable samples with lead MC Marina Ribatski's vocals chanted over, on their debut full-length With Lasers, the band uses a live guitarist to re-create the feel of '80s hair metal that infiltrates tracks like the first single "Office Boy," the harder "Bondallica," and "Dança do Zumbi." Diplo's own eclectic touch is definitely felt, as the album meanders about through techno, early-'90s dance pop, soca, and, of course, samba. This isn't "traditional" funk carioca, or baile funk, but it's a fun, danceable hybrid of beats that are catchy and to the point. "Solta o Frango" combines playground-esque sing-songy vocal lines with keyboard bleeps and Brazilian rhythms; it's short -- as are most of the tracks on the record -- clocking in at just a little over two minutes, but that's part of Bonde do Rolê's appeal: they're not going to drag things out with interminable percussive breaks and breakdowns. Instead, they're about celebrating their youth and impatience, moving onto the next thing before the first one is even done but maintaining an exuberant consistency throughout With Lasers' entirety. From the low brass riffs in "Marina Gasolina" to their take on a spy theme in "James Bonde" to the raw vocals on the kazoo-laden "Geremia" to the very M.I.A.-ish "Marina do Bairro," the band spits and struts their way with confidence, energy, and a lot of style. With Lasers is definitely the kind of sexy, summer music that probably won't, like most trends of its kind, be a record that will last for years and years, but while it's hot, while it's out, while it's banging out the stereo onto the scorched pavement around it, take advantage of it.

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