SOUTH CRY Keep an Eye on Me (Big Sky Rock)

Pasatiempo - - Cd Reviews -

Brazil isn’t ex­actly the home of rock ’n’ roll; it is known for ri­otous sam­bas and marches, time­less jazz fu­sion­ists, and lately, the night­club-honed car­i­oca funk of bands like Bonde do Rolê. So, when this CD by grunge-pop group South Cry landed on my desk, I was skep­ti­cal: Isn’t the vil­lage of Lambtown, Brazil, a lit­tle off the beaten path to re­vive a genre with roots in the Amer­i­can North­west? Nope. One lis­ten to this al­bum— which con­tains not one mol­e­cule of Brazil­ian mu­si­cal in­flu­ence — is proof that ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties can still bring the rock big. (Per­haps Lambtown is sim­ply the Aberdeen, Wash­ing­ton, of Brazil, and its Kurt Cobain is named Dal­tri Bar­ros.) Com­par­isons to Soundgar­den are well earned with Bar­ros’ nasal-y, wail-heavy lead vo­cals (in English) and the re­lent­less thwubba-thwubba bass lines cour­tesy of Pa­trick Sil­iany; but it’s lead gui­tarist Sil­iany who gives the band’s sopho­more al­bum a Mi­das touch. If a ghost pro­tégé of GNR/Vel­vet Re­volver gui­tarist Slash walks the earth, his name is Guill Erthal. (“What­ever You Try” bor­rows a lit­tle too heav­ily from Slash’s riff on GNR’s “Novem­ber Rain,” but it’s the strong­est tune on of­fer.) It re­mains to be seen if the world is ready for Brazil­ian-bred grunge with Amer­i­can pop sen­si­bil­i­ties, but South Cry gives the ag­ing mem­bers of Pearl Jam and a newly re-formed Alice in Chains a se­ri­ous run for their money. — Rob DeWalt

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