“Evil Friends” by Portugal. The Man

June 04. 2013 | By Andre Cruz


Portugal. The Man
Evil Friends
[Atlantic Records]

Portugal. The Man have paid their dues over the years, constantly touring all over the world. Progressing as musicians and expanding their sound with each release. On their seventh studio album (8th if you count the acoustic version of Satanic Satanists, Majestic Majesty) they continue this trend and have enlisted the help of producer extraordinaire Danger Mouse (The Black Keys, Gnarles Barkley, Electric Guest) to add that extra punch to completely floor the listener. While his influence to the album is recognizable, these are still Portugal. The Man songs at their core. Opening track “Plastic Soldiers” starts in classic P. TM style with John Gourley singing “Everything carries weight, everything is the same, within us all together. Everything carries weight, everything is the same and we are all together.”

The inclusion of synthesized horns help the listener imagine a full “big band” sound backing Portugal. The Man. “Evil Friends” is probably one of the more standout tracks of the album. “War” and “nature” is a common subject of Portugal. The Man’s songs, and the epic sound of guitars exploding and Zach Carothers thumping bass amongst the crashing drums is a thing of beauty. Kyle O’Quin (who recently replaced long time member Ryan Neighbors) has a unique ability of making his keys distinguishable at all times, never being drowned out by the rest of the instruments. Where keyboardists usually take a more supporting role in bands, his presence is a vital part of each song. The albums first single “Purple Yellow Red And Blue” should easily get some, if not a ton, of attention by new fans with just one listen. “Smile” is an excellent way to close the album, the song travels through the sounds Danger Mouse helped incorporate on this album, to a more stripped down Portugal. The Man jamming as “real” rock bands should do. Evil Friends is the perfect start and soundtrack to this summer season, day or night.

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