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       If you are anything like me, you are fed up with �indie rock.� You cannot stand another Strokes single, you hate the �yupster� label that the OC has created for rich honkeys who listen to corporate �indie,� and the only thing you find more disgusting than the new Hot Hot Heat single is their groupies. And you have waited two or three damn years for a good �indie� rock album to come out. Well, not to be clich�, but your search has ended. It really has.
        Portugal. The Man is a little band made up of former members of Anatomy of a Ghost. If you expect anything like Anatomy of a Ghost, you are a fool.
        I�d like to describe P.TM as an �experimental indie� band. The songs are somewhat structured like traditional indie, if there is such a term. I�m talking minimalism: one instrument starts the song, the other parts come in, and they repeat parts, but it is not quite the verse-chorus-verse-chorus structure.
        Look, I�m trying real hard to describe how P.TM is indie, but I�m failing. Because the more I listen to it, the less it sounds like indie. It�s like when I was told Mars Volta was hardcore. No, it wasn�t. It was extremely experimental, successful, with no imitators. What Mars Volta is to �hardcore� is what Portugal. The Man is to �indie.�
        Here�s a specific example: track six on
Waiter: You Vultures!, �Elephant.� It starts out with a clean, bright guitar line with huge tremolo effect. The vocals come in, slow tempo. A mellow synth creeps in and follows the guitar. At the end of the second stanza, a taxi of sound drives in, bringing in handclaps, tambourines, a soft acoustic, and loud bass guitar. The guitar switches into fuzzy overdrive. It reminds me of a gypsy dance, for some reason. Vocals continue with more power, and at the end of some stanzas everything fades except a slow acoustic arpeggio. Three minutes in, the tambourine shakes more violently, background voices shout from 1 to 7 and then become incoherent, a snare roll ensues and grows louder, leading the guitar and bass into a breakdown-type number. Vocals sing a verse, and the instrumental tsunami fades. Fin.
        That was a four minute orgy in my ears. Soon to be eight minute, as I hit the repeat button. All the other songs on this album are just as intricate, just as convincing, and just as enjoyable. This is truly a band that knows how to write balanced and intelligent lines without being repetitive. This album is blatantly amazing, but if you pay attention to the subtle instrumentations, you�re getting the full show.
        Each song is an unprecedented masterpiece. This album is not just for people who like indie, not just for people who want a different type of indie, but for anyone who appreciates fine music.
C.L. '06
Fearless Records

1) How the Leopard Got Its Spots
2) Gold Fronts
3) Stables and Chairs
<< 4) AKA M80 the Wolf >>
5) Marching with 6
6) Elephants
7) Waiter
8) Chicago
9) Bad Bad Levi Brown
10) Kill Me the King
11) Tommy
12) Horse Warming Party
13) Guns... Guns... Guns
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