The few things I had heard regarding the Brazilian band Bangos 1970 s/t album went something like this “killer fuzz, swirling organs, heavy-psych, blah, blah.” Anybody who has ever read a review of some obscure psychedelic rock reissue is almost guaranteed to encounter these adjectives as they are so loosely used when talking about any music that falls under the large umbrella of psychedelia.
The first track on this album Inferno no Mundo (Hell in the World) had previously been included on the Love, Peace & Poetry: Brazilian Psychedelic Music compilation and does in fact live up to those aforementioned descriptions. The track opens up with a short intro of voices played at half-speed tape and then just explodes into this ascending bass line with some truly sick guitar soloing conjuring the perfect images to match the songs title.
As far as the heavy-psych tag goes though, there are only three other songs on the ten track album ( Rock Dream, Only,and Ode to Billy) that could be construed as being killer, or fuzz riddled. What I find amazing about Bango is their ability to interpret a really eclectic range of American and British influences in English and Portuguese lyrics resulting in an album that while only twenty-nine minutes long, displays a diversity of styles that runs the gamut from the Los Bravos Black is Black and the Stones Under my Thumb influenced Motor Maravilha to the C.C.R. Travelin Band and Ike and Tina's Rolling on the River overt influence on Rolling Like A Boat.
By 1970, psychedelic musics heyday was essentially over in the States but in other places those sounds inevitably took longer to make their way down to places like Brazil, remember no Internet, no downloading. A band like Bango allowed those influences to percolate through them and then had a go at it. Mas Senti (But I Felt) starts off with a gently strummed acoustic guitar and builds with organ, electric guitar, and some pretty sugary harmonies. Aside from the lyrics in Portuguese, the song wouldnt sound out of place on a west coast psyche compilation alongside bands like Quicksilver Messenger Service, and Its a Beautiful Day.
For me though Bango sound their best when they dont sound like anybody else. Its on tracks like Marta, Zeca, The Priest, The Mayor, The Doctor and Me where they really take those outside influences, mix it with more indigenous sounds and convert it into something highly original much in the same way as Tropicalia contemporaries Os Mutantes did. Highly recommended!