Raimundos

Raimundos

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At first listen, Raimundos might sound like just any other hardcore band, when, in fact, they are the pioneers of a hybrid style called "forro-core" -- a bizarre combination of hardcore punk with a traditional style of folk music popular in the northeast of their native Brazil. Characterized by its often humorous, at times scatological lyrics and an insistent rhythm emphasizing the last three of four beats, forro was a country phenomenon ever present, but rarely heard, in Brazil's urban centers during the 1990s. But a small revival in the nation's capital Brasilia was all it took to get Raimundos experimenting with it -- at first, simply as a joke. Finally realizing that this "joke" could very well help set them apart from their competitors in a way their still formative songwriting and performance skills could not, they embraced forro's influence whole-heartedly and the rest, as they say, is history. Sure enough, when it dropped in early 1994, their self-titled debut garnered more attention for its unorthodox mission than necessarily for the quality of the music it contained. Sung almost entirely in Portuguese, songs like "MM's," "Minha Cunhada," and "Nega Jurema" (for which a very low-budget video was filmed and given serious exposure on the local edition of Headbangers' Ball) are pretty much standard hardcore, only embellished with hilariously lascivious and/or pot-worshipping lyrics. But it's the truly original forro-core of "Puteiro em Joao Pessoa," "Rapante," and "Cajueiro Rio das Pedras" that seduced most fans and helped the band make unexpected inroads into the local pop landscape. Eventually certified gold, this debut set the stage for Raimundos' true crossover a few years later via their far more confident second effort Lavo ta Novo.

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