Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Portugal. The Man - "American Ghetto"

Quickly on the heels of last year's The Satanic Satanist, Portugal. The Man are back with a new album, American Ghetto and they are already writing their next album. At this pace, the ever-prolific songwriter John Baldwin Gourley should be considered to be a prog-rock Bob Pollard! American Ghetto is more rhythmic and beat-driven but just as melodic and interesting as we have come to expect.

The first single, “The Dead Dog” opens the album with a swirling, snowstorm of synths and guitars and a catchy syncopated chorus. “60 Years” mixes a hip-hop inspired beat and psychedelic guitars with lyrics of perseverance. “All My People” blends acoustic guitar with squelching electronics for a “for the people” anthem. Layers of vocal harmonies highlight the infectious chorus on the buzzing, electro-rock on “1000 Years”. The foreboding piano and swaths of distorted guitars gives “Fantastic Pace” an ominous vibe before a contrastingly funky, strutting outro fades out to end the song. “The Pushers Party” is equally as funky with it's memorable cowbell infused beat but also could've fit in nicely on The Satanic Satanist as well. Gourley’s trademark falsetto is put to great use on the laid back “Do What We Do”. And “When The World Ends” closes out the album on an upbeat and poppy note with swirling vintage synths, a throbbing bass line and a steady vocal cadence.

Always challenging themselves and their fans, Portugal. The Man are an exciting band with an endless supply of great songs and ideas that seem to never run dry. American Ghetto is available now digitally and physically May 11th on Equal Vision Records.


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