Portal. Yes I’ll say it again, Portal. Now I see half of you running for the door, Some of you looking slightly confused and about four of you looking at me like I am about to give you a doggy treat. Sit boy sit, shut the door and let us discuss these Aussie maniacs in a calm and orderly fashion. There’s a good boy.
Divisive would be an understatement when it comes to these mysterious chaps. But unlike the normal love/hate thing, there is a third element. The confused. I will try and clear some of the mist so that you will either fall into the first two categories. Yes, you will either love this album or you will hate it. If only the rest of life was so simple.
I have been a fan for some time, I get it, and it’s the IT that confounds a lot of people, forgive my overuse of the word IT but it seems to be the best way to explain IT to the non believer. Portal have a very interesting way of going about things, and they are highly unlikely to change. Time to get with it then.
Abrasive is a term that can be used, as can discordant, chaotic, bat shit insane, or just straight out fucking mental. That would be underselling the genius on display here though wouldn’t it. At first listen for the newcomer all may seem like a whirlwind of the utmost chaos but this is not entirely so. Dig deeper, and although busy, Portal are extremely well in control of what they are delivering.
The delivery is sheer extremity, once you get your tiny little brain around it and it clicks, it all starts to become more of an aural soundscape than a severe beating. Yes, Portal want you to suffer, but they are not unkind, they just see things differently from the rest of us. Instead of delivering you a nice little email saying ‘Have a nice day’ or a smiley emoji they are sending you their inner thoughts and utmost feelings. You should be proud that they have chosen to!
My good friend and colleague Ashley Gould described this new release to me thus. “It’s so intense like a Cat on steroids”. I am not one to disagree, although I would expand that to being an angry Badger that has just been told his rent is overdue whilst trying to open a beehive. This is happening right in front of you while you are trying to watch Home and Away or whatever other droll shit inspires you.
Bees everywhere, some evil grunting shit of an animal making noises that Satan himself would approve of, and yes he is eyeing off your superbly well groomed pussy cat as his next victim. Best either join in the fun and help the cunt of a thing or it’s all going to end very poorly for you. Said Badger is going to kill you all anyway so just make the best of the situation.
Have Portal reinvented the wheel on this new one? No, because they never got on the fucking wheel to start with. Each and every one of their releases is a discovery unto itself, you just need to find the time to understand the IT factor. Love them or hate them, there is no fine line. Don’t be confused by their different slant on things, embrace it like you would hug a giant hairy spider that needs some loving. Eight arms hug tighter than two, and you will be wrapped up in their web of intrigue like I am.
Rating – 4.5/5