Stables and Chairs

Journey back to the very first Portugal. The Man album, before they ascended to realm of having shitty covers of their hits played in hotel lobbies. It was, as you would expect, a little weird, starting with the name Waiter: “You Vultures! a three-word grammar lesson. Other songs titles included AKA M80 the Wolf; Kill Me. The King; and Guns. Guns… Guns. Grabbing that LP at the record store, you would certainly expect a high level of pretentiousness, something self-consciously too clever and twee, something along the lines of Belle & Sebastian, perhaps. You would be pleasantly disappointed. Portugal. The Man is certainly clever, but just the right amount of it. If they hadn’t yet learned to polish up their hooks in 2006, you can’t blame them, and the unpolished quality of their earliest songs is endearing. They sound like they have way too many ideas about what it takes to make a pop song and they’re eager to deconstruct them before they’ve mastered them all the way.

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