Portugal. The Man
Waiter: ''You Vultures!''


5.0
classic

Review

by CheckersOnMyShoesYo USER (5 Reviews)
February 18th, 2007 | 41 replies


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist


Portugal: The Man- Waiter: “You Vultures”
Fearless Records 2006

Portugal: The Man is:
John Gourley- Guitar, vocals
Wesley Hubbard- Keys, vocals
Zachary Carothers- Bass, vocals
Jason Sechrist- Drums

Recently I had the chance to go see The Fall of Troy in concert. It was in this small club in my city, and not many people were there. The opening bands were Damiera, Tera Melos, and Portugal The Man. Tera Melos offended many people in the crowd with their joking around onstage, Damiera was slightly boring but still enjoyable, and the Fall of Troy was… well, the Fall of Troy, with Thomas Erak’s guitar wizardry, girlish voice, and arrogant personality. The real gem of this show was Portugal: The Man, a band I had heard of, but never really looked into. Their set was a massive jam session, featuring appearances by musicians from all the other bands on the tour. They even passed out tambourines and maracas and small drums to the people in the front of the crowd. I was quite literally floored by the effects of this music. It was as if I was being surrounded in a cocoon of sound. I left the show a changed person.

Hailing from Alaska, Portugal: The Man started off playing a straightforward mix of indie rock and punk. They evolved their sound over time, though. It’s hard to pin Portugal down into one genre. Their Myspace page classifies them as soul/progressive/grime. I would agree with the soul part of that, as John Gourley’s sweet crooning voice rivals many of the old soul singers. I would also call them progressive, with their technical guitar lines and keyboard work. I guess it is for the listener to decide, because I’m sure everyone will have a different take on the music.

Lets discuss the different parts of the band. The guitar, first and foremost, is quite good. John Gourley is an accomplished player, and his bluesy sound really shines. Sometimes, he plays subtle blues guitar solos. Sometimes, he plays simple rhythm work. John is a very versatile player. The bass… ahhh, the bass. I had the chance to talk to him after the show. We discussed different techniques, as I am a bass player as well. Zachary Carothers is an amazing bassist. He takes the spotlight in many of the songs, with his powerful lines and interesting bass effects. I’m always happy to see a bassist who isn’t afraid to step forward and actually play his instrument. The drums are good, keeping the beat well and meshing with the bass to provide a solid rhythm section. Keyboards add to the mix, but are hardly recognizable in most songs, since the guitar and bass use so many effects. The lyrics are cryptic and trippy, reminding me of the Mars Volta with their propensity for making very little sense. Everyone in this band is a great musician, and I can tell that they’ve been playing together for years.

Waiter: “You Vultures!” is full of great songs. The opener, “How The Leopard Got His Spots”, begins with a guitar riff strummed over keyboard noise. The bass kicks in, but the vocals quickly take the spotlight. The listener will notice that John Gourley sings in an almost-falsetto. I think his singing rivals that of Anthony Green, and maybe parallels the greatest(in my opinion) “high” singer, Cedric Bixler-Zavala. “Marching With 6” is one of my favorite tracks, with it’s fast pace and bouncy bassline. Handclaps abound in this song. The background vocals almost remind me of newer Blood Brothers, sounding like a bunch of girls. Great song. “Tommy” is the sad tale of a boy obviously named Tommy, who used to be a good kid but fell into temptation and now lives on the streets and does drugs. The guitar in this song is very weird, sounding kind of like a squeaking gate for the first part and then culminating in a half-time strummed chorus. “Chicago” is an enjoyable song, sounding very much like a Broadway musical, only with trippy lyrics and trippier vocals. “Horse Warming Party” is my favorite track on the album. It sounds almost like a hip-hop song with the drums and bass doing most of the work, very minimal guitar. John Gourley almost chants the lyrics, which make no sense by the way. The music surrounds you, like a lush landscape. If you don’t at least tap your foot to this song, you are not human. While everyone I know likes it, “Guns, Guns, Guns”, the closer, is my least favorite song. It’s a good song for any other band to close their album with, but for a band like Portugal, its kind of underwhelming.

This album is gold, pure gold. I recommend this to anybody. Try it out, and if its not your cup of tea, pass it on to someone else. I also recommend seeing these guys live, they are insane. Go on, you owe it to yourself, give Portugal: The Man a try.

5/5


user ratings (492)
Chart.
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Comments:Add a Comment 
FlawedPerfection
Emeritus
February 18th 2007


2806 Comments


Not sure what happened here, but you somehow made a new album. I'll report it for you and get it fixed.

CheckersOnMyShoesYo
February 18th 2007


215 Comments


Yep, here it is. Judge me harshly, Oh Gods of Sputnik.

CheckersOnMyShoesYo
February 18th 2007


215 Comments


Ok Thanks FlawedPerfection

omgwtfboogie
February 18th 2007


211 Comments


I liked this album, but I would hardly consider it five stars...

slep
February 18th 2007


1604 Comments


This band is horrible. They always came off as trying to hard to be creative and innovative. They really arent insane live. Their really boring actually.

CheckersOnMyShoesYo
February 18th 2007


215 Comments


..but how was the review?

slep
February 18th 2007


1604 Comments


Oh it was good.

Intransit
February 18th 2007


2797 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

It doesn't get much worse than Portugal. The Man gice.

Good review, but I disagree on all points.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
February 18th 2007


16089 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Its a good review.
Portugal the man is just really really really average and unexciting to me.

embroglio
February 18th 2007


219 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I've been in love with this band for about a year now. this is a fantastic album, but their first demos were better i think, there was a lot more electronic stuff.

Abaddon2005
February 18th 2007


684 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0


This is some nice stuff, Chicago especially is a cool track, but not a 5.This Message Edited On 02.19.07

CheckersOnMyShoesYo
February 18th 2007


215 Comments


Thanks everyone. I'm just sorry that not many people like this as much as I do.

But if you liked the review, please dont hesitate to vote.

And yes, that was shameless begging.

DFelon204409
Emeritus
February 18th 2007


3996 Comments


Tera Melos offended many people in the crowd with their joking around onstage


What did they do? Also, where are you from/where did you see this show?

CheckersOnMyShoesYo
February 18th 2007


215 Comments


I'm from Kansas City, and I saw it at the Grand Emporium.

Among other things, Tera Melos called themselves " a bunch of California faggots" which apparently offended a lot of kids in the crowd because they got A LOT of boos and people yelling/cursing at them.

I thought they were funny as hell.

DFelon204409
Emeritus
February 18th 2007


3996 Comments


Ya, they're one of my favorite live bands. I bet because the crowd wasn't so receptive their off the wall playing didn't necessarily appeal, but in general the only band more gripping and fun live may be HORSE the band. However, Tera Melos also has the clout of being the most musically interesting.

CheckersOnMyShoesYo
February 18th 2007


215 Comments


I actually really liked Tera Melos.
It was weird, but very interesting and entertaining.
Nick from TM played with every band throughout the whole concert.

Him and Thomas Erak both did amazing guitar solos during the Portugal the Man "mega jam session".

embroglio
February 19th 2007


219 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

dfelon, you're from north CA, aren't you? if so are you going to the tera melos show in davis this weekend?

DFelon204409
Emeritus
February 19th 2007


3996 Comments


Hahah, that's because he's better at his instrument than anybody in any other band haha. How did you like the double tapping technique he was using?

I am in fact from there but I'm currently in this place: http://www.erh.noaa.gov/forecast/MapClick.php?CityName=Williamstown&state=MA&site=ALY

And yes, it is currently 2 degrees., ignoring the wind chill.

CheckersOnMyShoesYo
February 19th 2007


215 Comments


I was very impressed by his double tap technique. It was unlike anything ive ever seen.

DFelon204409
Emeritus
February 19th 2007


3996 Comments


Well first thing to enjoy is this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvoWMggcts0

Second is this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAQpAVJ2J9I

The intro captures a really great example of the technique, the second half is a really great example of how crazy they are.



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