When I peruse the festival lineups each year there is a name that consistently pops out. Whether it’s Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, Austin City Limits, or Sasquatch!,Portugal. The Man is sure to be showing up.
Having released six studio albums since 2006, their now seventh studio album proves that these four guys might just be the hardest working group in the last decade. Officially finding their beginning as Portugal. The Man a mere seven years ago, this group of Alaska and Oregon natives know how to tap into the dreamy indie psych rock like they’ve been at it for decades. For their latest release In The Mountain, In The Cloud, John Gourley’s vocals again prove his reliability to hone in on the perfect key of simplistic yet awesome bliss. These guys know how to make a complete experience within an album; simply moving you from song to song in such a way as to not bore or overwhelm you.
The first four tracks, from “So American” to “Senseless,” stream through in a safe fashion. Opening up to a well constructed, pleasant first quarter of an album, these seasoned performers bring just enough to keep you interested. As you slide on past these first few tracks, you’ll fall right into the ever-so-slight change up and begin to feel, not just hear, the chances they have taken. This adjustment is a solid pay off. The cool groove initiated with “Head is a Flame (Cool With It)” offers up a riff and synth combo that finds a place into your subconscious with ease.
You’ll be swaying back and forth right into “You Carried Us (All You See).” Then you come to “All Your Light (Times Like These);” a combination of distorted bass and Parliament style backing vocals has me coming back to this track again and again. Complete with the throwback vocals and funk, you’ll be telling yourself that MGMT wishes they could be these guys.
As they bring down the pace in “Once Was One” with an acoustic riff and slow snare, you’re enlightened by the well thought-out abilities offered by such dedication and experience. Wrapping it all up with the six minute and twenty second absolutely brilliant “Sleep Forever,” In The Mountain, In The Cloud is proof that there are still bands out who have the ability to write an album that flows perfectly beginning to end. Listened to as a whole, you’ll find yourself in a very satisfied mentality, one that prompts a complete feeling of “it’s over, now maybe I should go outside and experience the world.”
Adding a solid addition to an already proven track record with In The Mountain, In The Cloud, I’m sure these gents can’t wait to take these 11 tracks on the road. Stay tuned, with albums like this, we’ll be seeing more of them.
A lot more.