NAME THE BAND is an “independent rock band” from São Paulo, Brazil, with heavy alternative rock elements implemented in their sound. They consist of Zeh Monstro (lead singer/guitar), Gabriel da Rosa (guitar/backing vocals), Beto Careca (drums/backing vocals), and Vini Marmore (bass/backing vocals). Although they hail from Brazil, all songs are not in their native language Portuguese, but sung in English, which is great for the English enthusiast. They have a great following in Brazil and have been featured on a Brazilian rock station 89fm and on MTV Brazil. With that said, they have recently decided to head out on their USA road tour, called Flash Flood USA Tour, which is also the name of their latest single. The band is supposed to stay until August 15, still booking shows, in between recording, and with expectations of releasing the EP until March. This is on my list of new bands, and new music, that must be checked out.
While their SoundCloud does mention influences from the 70s and 80s, such as Lou Reed, and Devo, I can’t help but hear more of a heavy alternative-indie rock embedded in their sound. I love how clean every track sounds, and the different undertones of indie-rock that each member brings in the band.
Their latest single, “Flash Flood,” is an upbeat anthem song that is perfect to be the headlining single. I recommend this song to get a feel for what the band has to offer. It starts off with a heavy bass/guitar being scratched for the first 15 seconds, as the rest of the music trickles in. The layering of the second guitar and pitch resembles a slight influence of Latin Rock, resembling the beginning of Mana’s “Oye Mi Amor,” for the first 30 seconds. Although, I enjoyed the influence of Latin Rock, NAME THE BAND blended it to make it their own sound. It then develops into progressive indie rock, with great vocal layering in the chorus. It stays upbeat till the end and is definitely a catchy song.
The next song that I suggest hearing is “In Between the Lines.” The start of it is everything that a song should have within the first second it makes its way into your ears. Catchy upbeat guitar riff, and clap like drum structure that makes you fall in love. The drumming is something worth clapping for on this track in particular. The bass soon comes in right before the verse and completes the song and compliments the vocals. By the 3rd minute there is the catchy tambourine on the steady drum beat and bass as faded vocals of “ do do do” is echoed in the back. It picks up once again and is all instrumental towards the end of the song.
“Big Mouth” is a song that showcases the indie-rock influence and definitely has attitude. It is such a well-polished song, from the background vocals in the chorus, to the lyrics itself. The song itself is basically a punch to the face. It starts with the lyrics “I got to tell you how I feel,” which you definitely feel slight hostility, but not bitterness, in Monstro’s voice. As the song escalates, the music escalates, and we now know he has had enough: the “joke is on you / you are a phony hypocrite.” The confidence that executed in the tone leaves you rocking out and cheering at the end of the song against whoever the song is directed to. This isn’t your usual, “F*ck off” song, though I might use it as one, this is a directive and extremely upbeat and catchy melody.
Overall, I haven’t found not one song I didn’t like. Throughout their collection there are songs with more attention to the “synth-rock” sound, like their 80s influences, yet tailored to their own sound. There’s also a softer, acoustic song, showing the flexibility of the band as well.
When I stumbled across their music, and fell in love, I needed to share it with the world, as well as hunt them down on Twitter. I ended up having a nice conversation with their manager, Jonathas de Vargas, and I needed to know why they decided on English, why not Portuguese. Besides taking the time to thank me for the compliments on the band, and overall being a delight to talk to, he stated: “We felt more compelled on singing in English, because of how the sound would sound. Nothing against Portuguese and our home country. But of course, we wanted to tour America for the first time. So I guess, since the early beginning, we wanted to be here as well, it is impossible to tour singing in Portuguese. At least here.”
De Vargas went on, “In Europe, Brazilian musicians and artists are very well received and perceived, in America we are “Latinos,” so we share the same attention.”
This struck out to me how much music the world is missing out on just because of language barriers. Music is the universal language, and it is such a flattery to have a band that will sing in our language to spread the music out. I hope in the future we all can expand our musical sensory into other cultures and languages.
Enjoy the music friends.
RIYL: We Are Scientists, Zoe, good music