First, I want to say that this is how albums should be made–no joke. The quartet known as Porter Block have produced a well-polished and well-produced piece of work that resonates with a just a great SOUND. The band leased and built up their own studio in Brooklyn where they would be cooped up for about four months working on a new record. The members of Porter Block would surround their own studio with retro items collected through the years and the product is 10 highly enjoyable songs. Apparently having a studio that you can happily call your OWN can be very effective and extremely inspirational when making an album.
I have to say that lead singer Peter Block’s vocals are really in tune and right on throughout this record. The harmonies are soothing to the ear and each song adds a perfect blend of melodies. Call me crazy, but I even heard a little of Jacob Dylan-esque tone in Block’s vocal style. Also, heard glimpses of Elvis Costello in the way Block sang and annunciated his words.
I enjoyed each and every song on Off Our Shoulders, but especially liked “Lonely Levon”. The song seemed to have that slowed-down, bluesy feel and just such a laid-back and cool song. Hearing this track, I would call Porter Block the ideal “Pub-Rock” Band as I was sippin’ down a rum and coke at a local bar. In the words of the great Billy Joel, “Now we’re all in the mood for a melody and you got us feelin’ alright” and yes these “Pub-Rock” men will do just the trick!
I also love the message behind the song, “The Times Between the Good Times” because Porter Block is telling people not to forget about those moments in between the good times. Everyone remembers the good times, the good old days, or those unforgettable memories–whatever you wanna call them–but what happens in the middle of all that is special too. Really makes you stop and think for a second or two, at least I did.
Overall, I loved everything about this album and would highly recommend it to anyone. And if you have a chance to see this band perform on stage, don’t miss out because I can imagine with their impeccable studio sound that their live sound is just as impressive. To find out more on Porter Block and their new record, “Off Your Shoulders”, SKOPE out www.porterblockmusic.com.
Words By: Jimmy Rae[Rating: 5/5]