Good times with Chile's Niña con Frenillos

KICK-ASS PAJAMA PARTY MUSIC -

All-girl bands are cool, period. Guys think they’re hot. Girls do too. You don’t come across them too often, and when you do, they’ve usually got a unique sound, feature or kink that sticks with you in one way or another.

“Niña con Frenillos” (Girl with Braces) is no exception.

Photo by Robert Silva
Photo by Robert Silva

They’re attractive, accessible and fun, with a raw grungy punk sound that you can’t help but groove to. Their songs have a colorful quality that’ll either have you nodding your head and swaying your hips, dancing like an idiot, or yelling, “This is awesome!” to the person next to you.

Most would file the group under some classification of the punk-rock category, but that’s not what they’re going for. “We don’t want to be called punk or party-punk or pop-punk,” lead singer Winifrede Walbaum (24) said. “We play pajama party music.”

Makes perfect sense.

While you won’t be blown away by high degrees of difficulty or flashy solos, you will notice that everyone is comfortable, slightly reckless, uninhibited and having a blast – a pajama party.

The Chilean band, whose influences include Sonic Youth, Michael Jackson, El Otro Yo, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Le Tigre and Nirvana, was conceived only a year ago out of a group of friends just partying together.

Photo by Robert Silva
Photo by Robert Silva

Winifrede is sexy and sweet with an effortless, smooth and loud voice that leads but doesn’t stifle. I get the sense that she just rolled out of bed one day and started singing and that’s what came out.

The bassist is hilarious, clowning around onstage and taking swigs from the crowd’s drinks. If we were at a college house party, she’d be the one jumping off the roof into the swimming pool. The guitarist and drummer are a little more out of focus but work well as parts of the whole.

I saw Niña con Frenillos play at El Clan in the Bellavista area of Santiago. Cool place. Small enough to keep it intimate but spread out enough so you’re not getting bumped, getting stepped on or spilling your drink every minute. After the band was done, the place switched to more of a bar/club scene with a DJ and a small dance floor. Really good time.

The girls have their first album, which I’ll definitely be on the prowl for, coming out in August. Until then, I’ll be attending as many of their shows as possible. If you’re looking for a good time and think you can appreciate some good old-fashioned pajama party music, then you should check them out too.

Learn more about Niña con Frenillos at www.myspace.com/niniaconfrenillos.

Check out El Clan at www.elclan.cl

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