I don't understand a lick of Portuguese but it didn't stop me from enjoying the recent four-song EP entitled 2 from Isidoro Pilsen. Isidoro Pilsen is a trio from Porto Alegre where other notable acts such as Bixo da Seda, Engenheiros do Hawaii, Papas da Língua, and Fresno hail from. The EP is quite versatile and diverse for only having four songs. Isidoro Pilsen cross-pollinate genres and weave in style such as rockabilly, polka, hard rock and even jazz. The immediate impression I had was that the recording had a lot of energy and caught the intensity of a live performance.
“Otário” is the first song on the EP and is a pretty straightforward pop/rock song with infectious hooks and emotional resonant vocal performance. The lead singer sings with conviction as the distorted guitars wail and the drums crash. They change thing up going into “Clube do Fracasso” as they combine a 1-to-5-polka progression on bass with jangly guitars. It’s a polka but turned up to an eleven.
“Senão” is a distorted, visceral rock tune that goes at it harder than anything else on the album. Those looking for a cathartic release will appreciate what these guys bring to the table. The highlight for me is “Procurando Graça” which actually has clean guitar and is heavily influenced by jazz but done in a pop format. If anyone remembers The Legendary Jim Ruiz Group it sounded like a Portuguese version of that band. They pull if off and it was an unexpected treat at the end of the EP.
I really don't know much about the music scene in Porto Alegre but Isidoro Pilsen has made me more interested. This EP was not mind-blowing music or a game changer but it did have a lot of kinetic energy that only a live band can produce.
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