Number 13 - Porter & the Pollies - Self titled EP
Sometimes less is better, and Number 13 on the 31 Days of Music: Best of 2013 list that is exactly the case. Porter & the Pollies released an EP with more good music on it than most full length albums. It is a great example of quality over quantity.
There are some things in this world that just go together perfectly, things like Waylon & Willie, Bourbon & Coke, Hall & Oates, beer & wings and now Chris Porter & the Pollies. The Alabama musicians join forces for a six song EP loaded with some of the “baddest-assed” tunes to come from the This Is American Music label.
Whether it has been with the Back Row Baptists or Some Dark Holler, Chris Porter has always been impressive with the ability to write songs that drag listeners into his world of death and despair. The Pollies, besides being one of the most powerful live acts out there today, wowed folks with one of the better albums of 2012, their debut Where The Lies Begin. During 2013's Couch By Couch West they joined forces and teased listeners with a taste of what they could do together creating a want for more. Lucky for all of us more is what we have been given.
The six songs on this EP are a collection of new ones and ones you have heard before, except you have never heard them like this. The opening track, “My Hometown”, is an exercise in what Porter does best; write songs that create a vivid image in the listeners head. With lines about lawns full of cars, everybody having the same last names and working crap jobs he delivers a look at small town rural life in America. The haunting melodies that weave throughout Porter’s vocals punctuate the song. Full of lyrics that are somber and bleak, Porter’s specialty, “Rest These Bones” & “Blood On My Hands” engulf listeners with brooding music and enough death & gloom to cause them to hit the bottle. Shifting gears, things get a bit upbeat on “When I Get Home”, a jaunty tune about being on the road and longing for home.
The two other tracks on the EP are harvested from Porter’s days with the Back Row Baptists (check them out they kick a little bit of ass) and have been ‘overhauled’. On the track “Fourth of July” acoustic guitars and piano are replaced with the Pollies’ fuzzy guitars and soulful southern keyboards adding an entirely new dimension to an already powerful song. A total transformation takes place with “Wood & Steel”. Gone is the twang as Porter & the Pollies slowed it down a bit to create a swampy blues infused tune that chugs along as if it being slowly dragged into the muck and mire before exploding into a world of chaotic fuzz and noise. All I can say about that one is DAMN!
Harnessing their emotions Porter & the Pollies have served up a record loaded with their blood, sweat & tears, and most likely a good amount of beer and whiskey. These guys hold nothing back and the music on this EP shows. The six songs on this album pack more of a punch than most of the LP’s released this year. They go for quality and leave all the filler to lesser musicians. Grab a copy of this one, you will dig it.
31 Days of Music: Best of 2013
31 - Futurebirds - Baba Yaga
30 - Mike Snowden - One Man Cigar Box Guitar Band Live
29 - Teen Getaway - Hits and Missives
28 - Barrence Whitfield & the Savages - Dig Thy Savage Soul
27 - Robert Pollard - Honey Locust Honky Tonk
26 - Camper Van Beethoven - La Costa Perdida
25 - Je Suis France - Coleslaw III Drymouth
24 - Dorado - Anger, Hunger, Love and the Fear of Death
23 - Ezra Furman - Day of the Dog
22 - Hymn For Her - Lucy & Wayne's Smokin' Hot Flames
21 - Patrick Sweany - Close To The Floor
20 - Tedo Stone - Good Go Bad
19 - Chandler Travis Three-O - This Is What Bears Look Like Under Water
18 - Devon Allman - Turquoise
17 - Kick The Robot - Music To Fight The Future
16 - Sebadoh - Defend Yourself
15 - Escondido - The Ghost of Escondido
14 - Doc Feldman & the LD50 - Sundowning at the Station
13 - Porter & the Pollies - Self Titled EP