Brazilian Alt Rock Legends, baby
Founded in 1991, Mickey Junkies have become recognized as one of the pioneers of Brazillian alt-rock. Their sound remains rooted in the alt-metal and post-hardcore sounds of the early 90's, singer Rodrigo Carneiro's low baritone rings out over the band's slow sludgy riffs. Their latest record, the primarily English language Since You've Been Gone, adds NWOBHM influences to the sound and goes all in on the genre's blues influence with the odd harmonica lick. Opener “Nothing to Say” rides out one of the band's best riffs, while Carneiro belts out sounding something like the child of Danzig and Jim Morrison. Highlights like “Tryin' to Resist,” “Since You've Been Gone,” and “Big Bad Wolves” add unexpected elements into the mix, while remaining true to the stripped down sound the band has spent 25 years honing. But closer “A Tired Vampire” surprises with an earnest acoustic blues number, Carneiro's voice hitting the bottom of his range to add danger to the song's seduction. The closing incantation “only lovers left alive” hovers in the air like a threat, you can cut the ambiguity with a knife.
By Nathan Leigh, AFROPUNK contributor