Brazilian rockers Macaco Bong just released their sixth studio album, an instrumental remake of Nirvana’s Nevermind, Deixa Quieto.
The band consists of Bruno Kayapy on baritone guitar, Daniel Hortides on bass, and Felipe Oliveira tickling the tympany on drums. The sound, different from Kurt’s electric snarl, is pulled back, in a way, but reveals just enough to entice. In “Móviaje” the guitar flickers like a giant sequin on a loud dress and the drumbeats fall like hurricane rain. “Nublum” is a pure delight, with guitar chords that are comfortable and land with a soft thud, like a pair of new sneakers being put to the test. Upon hearing it, I feel a tinge of longing for that make-you-salivate loud guitar (guitarreschmerz?), but it’s that very feeling that keeps me on the edge of my seat. There are many moments in the album when the pull of the groove is irresistible; “Briza” is one place where that happens in particular. The tonal play and guitar scratching in “Loló” plea to the listener, and the scratchy rhythm and parabolic guitar notes in “Com Easy ou Uber” shrink and grow with the ever-present drums. The verses of “Lírio” are upright like that swinging hollow beat the Beatles liked for a while, and the bass has a vibratory quality that reminds me of melted mozzarella. Deixa Quieto is 51 minutes to get lost in, as Macaco Bong take listeners on an exploration of the essence of a part of Nirvana’s legacy.