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Portugal. The Man: Church Mouth

B

Portugal. The Man

Album: Church Mouth
Label: Fearless

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Waiter: "You Vultures!", the debut album by Alaska-born quirksters Portugal. The Man, expanded the parameters of punk to encompass hip-hop and prog, but the band's second album Church Mouth is practically all epic blues-rock, in the vein of The White Stripes and The Allman Brothers. There's a distinct "Whipping Post" feel to songs like "Oh Lord" and the title track, which thrash and shriek and lean heavy on thick, shaggy guitar. Portugal. The Man keeps its avant-garde streak alive on "Sugar Cinnamon" and "Telling Tellers Tell Me," both of which experiment with more funk-oriented percussion and druggy gospel overtones. But Church Mouth plays best when the bombast is scaled back, and the band's DIY take on classic rock has a chance to hit a steady groove.