Portugal. The Man are Men

STORY BY Holly Ramos

Published: May 10, 2013

Truly interesting music, the column

When I heard Evil Friends, the new Portugal. The Man single, on the radio,  I was excitedly trying to place what I was listening to. I knew it was something I wanted to hear again but I couldn’t believe that I had not heard it before. It is so rare to find a great new song on the radio, how prehistoric. The best I could come up with was some brilliant obscure punk girl group from the 90’s that I had missed. The first line hooks you in, all ballad-like and mean, “your mamma’s got nothing on me..” then it kicks in….all tough and poppy, grrrrrrr… “its not that I’m evil I just I just don’t like to pretend….” I just wanted to dance around and wreck the place, like the first time I heard the Ramones in grammar school. Then, I found out it was guys, wow. Of course it was Portugal. The Man.

I am thrilled that I got pleasantly surprised by a band that I already like. I am way fond of the last record In the Mountain in the Cloud. Yes they have a strong T Rex thing going on, and yes I am a fan. What’s not to like about beautiful melodies, harmonies, falsetto, cool lyrics and a groove. It’s not an easy feat to pull off with sincerity and credibility, but they do. I say Yeah! Sing it out, John Gourley! Thanks for making music I like to listen to.

Portugal. The man has been making records since 2005. They come from up north- Alaska, Oregon, hyperborean, if you will. You can tell that they work hard woodshedding, a quality that is not always my favorite, unless done right. And Yes PTM does it right-they have the chops and the magic, the gift that takes it over the top. How fun to be interested in watching a career as artists define their sound again and again.

The new album Evil Friends, produced by Danger Mouse, comes out on June 4th. The US tour kicks off in NY at Irving Plaza on May 20th. Shake shake shake shake the night away. Put away your hipster t shirt and get out your hot pants, prison dress, or glitter tights and boots. See you at the Wiltern.

Check their website for when they swing by your town.




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