Portico - Progeny Blues
I love a band that knows just how seriously to take themselves. Filling Portico's website are little snippets like, "Their tour van is affectionately named Step-Dad and, unlike many before him, has proven to be dependable," little bits of humanity that remind you that these are real people. Portico comes from the Vancouver region of Canada, where the quintet formed in 2004. Progeny Blues was released in September 2007, and is the band's third album to date. A cozy collection of indie-pop fronted by Lyn Heinemann's sweetly dissociating voice, Progeny Blues is filled with catchy little licks of romance pains and the oddities of life. Less haunting though no less melodic than Palomar's recent work,tracks like "Two Killers" make no commitments of extreme depth (what with their repetitive, pop-friendly choruses) but end up being pleasantly surprising time and time again. Heinemann is more than capable of delivering tongue-twisting lines of witty irony and self-awareness quickly.She particularly shines in "Sincerely," a razor-sharp break-up declaration with such shocking honesty ("I'm going to hurt you / So much so that you'll lay awake at night / Thinking of times you were near me"), that the words hit harder than most relationship termination tales from more emotive groups. The instrumentals are pleasantly sunny as well, keeping songs simple and secure by relying on warmly catchy melodies rather than dramatic swells or unforeseen surprises. "Grande Prairie," one of the strongest tracks on the album, contains some of the simplest instrumentals. By not relying on busy extra-effects like other indie-pop acts of late, Portico retains an attractive quality of minimalist humanity. Unassuming, concise, and entirely lovable, Progeny Blues is a catchy indie-pop record that keeps pace with its musical peers, without throwing in bells and whistles. One of the best kept secrets of Canada, Portico wins by leaving in an essential element of humanity--from their dependable tour van named "Step-Dad" to Progeny Blues.
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