Wasilla, Ala., may have recently gotten a lot of attention via former Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin, but our pick for best musical export goes to the city’s own Portugal. The Man (who are now – go figure – based out of Portland, Ore.).
While all of the band’s albums are worth checking out, their new full-length The Satanic Satanist – released just this week – is the first disc to completely realize the band’s full-circle musical progression and illustrate how they’ve developed their own sound. While PTM came up in the punk scene by way of their previous band, Anatomy Of A Ghost, the band over the past few years has evolved into a soul-inflected rock band whose music is amazingly innovative and inventive.
Led by the acrobatic vocals of frontman John Gourley, the trio takes the listener through a sonic rollercoaster ride on The Satanic Satanist that ranges from the Band-esque folk-derived masterpiece “People Say” to the psychedelic-soul slow jam “Guns And Dogs” and tender piano-driven ballad “Let You Down.” But although the band are able to tackle countless moods and genres on the album, they manage to never lose sight of their own identity and are able to put their own unique spin on each of these sounds — and even add some new dimensions on flawlessly arranged tracks such as “Mornings,” which show how the band’s orchestral flair interacts with their rock influence without overshadowing either.
Admittedly, Portugal. The Man aren’t reinventing music with The Satanic Satanist,but in a musical landscape where things seem more and more homogenized it’s refreshing to hear a band like Portugal. The Man who seem more concerned about their music than their image and what preconceived “scene” they fit into. Oh, and the artwork for the album, which was created by Gourley himself, is worth the price of the CD alone.
“We’ll be just fine,” he sings on the aforementioned song “Mornings,” and we actually believe him. Check out a few songs from The Satanic Satanist and we’re betting that you will, too.
Check out a few sneak peeks to upcoming videos from the new album.
Original article from Jonah Beyer