The Malportado Kids have chosen to decorate both their Facebook and Bandcamp page with the all-capitals quote from the late, great Paul Robeson that reads ‘THE ARTIST MUST ELECT TO FIGHT FOR FREEDOM OR SLAVERY’, a quote that the African-American singer/activist declared to a New York crowd in 1949, before they were attacked by a group of cross-burning anti-communists.

These two ‘badly-behaved’ kids from Rhode Island have clearly decided which part of the fight they’re with, their protest music becoming a form of genre-colliding party of upbeat dance rhythms and electroclash straight out of 2006, but with a far wider eye than that of, say, The Rapture.

They also play in the self-described ‘bilingual political dance sax punk party’ Downtown Boys, who released their full-length ‘Full Communism’ last year, and both groups are dedicated to shouting their roots proudly. The Kids’ 2015 EP ‘Total Cultura’ is sung almost entirely in Spanglish, and seems to wish to rip up the racist overtones of the label ‘world music’, Victoria Ruiz screaming ‘give me back my fucking land’ on ‘Basta’, which opens with the same siren that M.I.A. used on ‘Bucky Done Gun’, another furious political agitator dedicated to getting people to dance themselves out of their oppression.

Their self-consciously post-colonial project is heavily influenced by cumbia, a form of dance music that came out of Colombia and transported itself all over Latin America. Malportado Kids are proud of their heritage, and seek to soundtrack and combine the Latin diaspora in one messy, angry, but ultimately fun sound, that coalesces with a stripped cover of Bruce Springsteen’s ‘I’m On Fire’.

About The Author

Lee Whear

Young punk full of love, hoping they've got enough tobacco left when the revolution comes. Canterbury Christchurch University graduate, previous work has appeared in thnksfrthrvrw, Hitsville U.K., Bearded Magazine, and God Is In The TV Zine.