Portugal The Man: The Satanic Satanist CD review (Shockhound)

With THE SATANIC SATANIST, Portland-based indie rockers Portugal. The Man continue to befuddle and delight with their hodgepodge of gleeful pop sounds. As on their previous releases, the group seems utterly disinterested with conforming to any one genre form, instead threading everything from Britpop and new wave to classic rock and ’70s AM sunshine into the mix. While such an approach should produce a chaotic and overly complex stew, one of the most stunning things about PTM’s records is how utterly uncomplicated they are. Perhaps it’s the versatile vocal style of John Gourley – who can deftly switch between falsetto soul and soaring anthem with but the flutter of an eyelash – or maybe it’s the codified simplicity of the musical traditions from which they draw, but PTM has wound up making a record that manages to be as unchallenging as it is diverse. Fizzy and infectious, THE SATANIC SATANIST is a deeply enjoyable album that occasionally – such as on the explosively dynamic “Guns and Dogs” or the chugging, disco-rocking “Lovers In Love” – shows sparks of true inspiration.

First appeared July 21, 2009 at Shockhound.com.

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