Portugal The Man
They may very well be sweeping up the scraps of Led Zeppelin and vocalist/guitarist John Gourley does seem to be making his best attempt at a Jack White howl, but none of this bothers me because I can’t seem to stop listening to Portugal The Man’s new album, Church Mouth. Its brilliance is in its ability to not only cop from the past, but to reexamine already established genius in a way that sounds new and fresh.
From the opening soul-filled, blues rock burst of the title track, the album takes off on a colorful trajectory into the complicated world of undefinability. Here you’ve got a band — from way up in Alaska by the way — that seems at once in touch with every aspect of rock history, yet removed enough to sound like they’re not trying to redo what’s already been done. Songs soar from dirty club sexy (“Sugar Cinnamon”), to swampy boot stomping (“Telling Tellers Tell Me”) and on into the impossibly matured emotionally stirring “Shade.”
What this trio has managed to accomplish on their sophomore disc is a level of quality that most bands never even come close to reaching. I can’t wait to hear what these guys do for their third album!
Portugal the Man: www.portugaltheman.net