As Plantas Que Curam

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AllMusic Review by Fred Thomas

Boogarins, the basement recording project of Brazilian teenagers Fernando Almeida and Benke Ferraz, quickly found itself going from a nameless hobby to a full-time gig when its songs bubbled up from below ground and hit the ears of a waiting world. On their debut LP, As Plantas Que Curam (loosely translated as "Plants That Heal"), the home-recorded duo channels all the colorful psychedelic energy of Tropicalia-psych heroes like Júpiter Maçã, Os Hipnóticos, and the mighty Os Mutantes, while updating the sound within the context of a digital recording made on borrowed gear by giddy youth in a basement decades after the original artifact of inspiration appeared. It's hard to pick up on the passing of time, however. Heavy slabs of mutated guitar rock like the sunny yet demonic "Erre" would sound at home on any collection of lost fuzz-rock/Tropicalia tracks from the '60s, but the song leans ever so slightly toward the same atmospheric production of albums by the likes of Tame Impala, Foxygen, and other indie contemporaries of Boogarins equally obsessed with past eras. Guitarist Ferraz's blissfully distorted leads melt into patiently breezy melodies on tracks like "Infinu" and dark, gritty washes of psychedelic pop like "Paul." Brief pockets of shoegaze melodicism meet up with the same summer day laziness of Devendra Banhart's tropical musings on "Despreocupar" and found sounds mesh with hidden psyched-out production on almost every track, from hyper-compressed drum tones to the erupting tremolo guitar barrage of "Lucifernandis." Every bit as inventive, hopeful, and positive as the '60s and '70s acts they're inspired by, Boogarins have produced an incredibly promising debut, and one of the more enjoyable and colorful albums of their particular moment in the ever-twisting independent music time line.

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