VODKA VODKA returns in February. Limited early bird tickets are on sale right now!

CD Review: Portugal. The Man 

The Satanic Satanist (Equal Vision)

This Alaska-bred quartet have always been characterized by undulating, multi-movement compositions that make great use of snaky falsetto vocals, odd noises and swelling keyboards — sorta like a prog-rock version of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" with jagged post-punk guitar lines. They relocated to Oregon, but their music retained the mythic size and swagger of their home state. Frontman John Gourley has threatened to make a soul album, reflected in the past with funky organ lines. With The Satanic Satanist, he's fulfilled that promise, revealing previously untapped potentials.

By reigning in their expansive impulses (none of the first eight tracks exceed 3:15) and the guitars — and putting the keyboards and thick, thumping bass center stage — they've discovered an even more alluring identity. The call-and-response vocals are well suited to '70s soul, and the deeper grooves subscribe to a less-is-more philosophy that smooths their frantic state.A flower-child psych undercurrent flows beneath "The Sun" and the wah-drenched "Lovers in Love," while the slinky "Guns & Dogs," with its bluesy guitar line, sounds like the Walkmen channeling Keith Richards. Overall, it's a funky, strutting, tuneful late-night party you never want to see end. — Chris Parker


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


Staff Pick Events

  • Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Concert @ Severance Hall

    • Sun., Jan. 20
  • Tinder Live with Lane Moore @ Grog Shop

    • Tue., Jan. 22
  • Stand Up Science with Shane Mauss @ Hilarities Comedy Club

    • Wed., Jan. 23

© 2019 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 241-7550
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation