Boogarins, “Manual”


Brazilian quartet Boogarins are often labeled a psych rock band, and they certainly use enough guitar pedals, unconventional song structures, and long instrumental builds to qualify as proponents of the revived genre. But with Manual, Boogarins also showcase another approach to songwriting, one that’s less exploratory and more laid-back. The album’s A-side flexes its experimental muscles with driving protest single “Avalanche” and the dark, fuzzy “Tempo,” while “Mario de Andrade/Selvagem” and “Falsa Folha de Rosto” navigate swirling sonic landscapes. But the B-side shifts down a few gears into delicate folk rock. “Benzin” and “San Lorenzo” could almost pass as Portuguese-language covers of Real Estate songs. The two approaches combine for a cohesive listen, with the psychedelic and mellow tracks comprising (almost literally) different sides of the same coin. Having a couple more moves in Boogarins’ palette could save Manual from a few stretches of monotony, but overall it’s a solid effort.


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