Armada – Bandeira Negra

Pirates Press Records & Hearts Bleed Blue Records
Written By Mark Jones

For over 20 years Blind Pigs were one of South America’s best known punk bands and were often regarded as Brazil’s answer to Rancid but after the passing of guitar player, Fabiano Andrade decided to call it a day in 2016. But instead of giving up on music the four remaining members decided to start afresh forming Armada and added Ricardo Galano to complete the line-up. The band have just released their sublime debut album ‘Bendeira Negra’ through Pirates Press and Hearts Bleed Blue.

‘Bandeira Negra’ has 17 blistering punk rock songs all sung in Portuguese but the album is full to the brim catchy melodies, killer guitar riffs and a massive dose of Rock ‘N’ Roll swagger. If I had to describe Armada’s sound I would say that if you mixed a little bit of Rancid, Real McKenzies and Sun Records era Johnny Cash you wouldn’t be far off. There really isn’t a bad track on the album but the highlights for me are ‘Semper Adversus’, ‘1982’,’Armada’, ‘O Odio Venceu’, and the amazing ‘Proxima Estacao, a Johnny Cash style song which is well delivered and vocally excellent.

Armada have given us an absolutely cracking debut album that is one of my favourite albums of the year so far and I’m pretty sure this will make my end of year list. I urge you to pick up a copy of this album and maybe a Portuguese dictionary.