Release Date: Jun 4, 2013
Record label: Atlantic
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Experimental Rock, Neo-Psychedelia
The collaboration between Portugal. The Man (band) and Danger Mouse (producer) on the Alaska group’s eighth full-length album was one of those things that made perfect sense as soon as it was announced. P.TM frontman John Gourley and company have always been open to experimentation, always had the musical chops and always exhibited a Danger Mouse-ian undercurrent of gloom, but in recent years they’ve has struggled to find an edge.
There are essentially two components enmeshed to form Evil Friends—the melodies that Portugal. The Man wrote and performed, and the ambience that Danger Mouse cultivated through his production. Clear overlap exists between the two, and though each party’s mannerisms are distinct, DM’s influence is readily apparent. Friends finds P.TM exploring territory both familiar and foreign, with DM mostly borrowing from his regular stable of production techniques, reliable though they are.
Portugal, the Man have always walked the line between accessible and bewildering, mixing their ear-worm songs with a strong dash of weirdness, always keeping the listener from getting familiar. On their newest album, the Danger Mouse-produced Evil Friends, Portugal goes weirder yet even more accessible than ever before. You can practically see the fingerprints of the uber-producer on the polished sound and the focus on melodies, and that's a great thing.
2012 marked the end of an era for Portland, OR psych rockers Portugal. The Man: It was the first year in which they did not release a full-length album since dropping their debut Waiter: "You Vultures!" back in 2006. They have been such a prolific band that it's become hard for anyone other than die-hard fans to keep up. So while a two-year gap between albums is standard for most, in Portugal.
Packing plenty of excitement and quirkiness into their dazzling mix of rock, pop, psychedelia, and electronica, Portugal. The Man’s work is as imaginative and catchy as it is immaculate and daring. Overall, Evil Friends is an extremely fun and engrossing record. It’s fair to say that Portugal ….
Portugal. The Man found the opportunity to work with Brian "Danger Mouse" Burton so important that they scrapped two weeks of recording -- and eight of ten new songs -- in order to start fresh. Changing studio locations from El Paso to Danger Mouse's headquarters in L.A., the collaboration has resulted in the band's most accessible and "mainstream" recording to date.
With each era since the Nixon administration come fresh attempts to reboot the rebellions of the 1960s and 70s. Enter Portugal. The Man, who on previous albums have recorded faithful impressions of T. Rex, Bowie and the Beatles with a hazy swagger that, while not genetically unique, at least puts some distance between them and their forebears.
The latest album by Portland's Portugal. The Man, Evil Friends, is rarely the same from one minute to the next, careening between alt-rock bombast, punk snot, Lumineersy campfire singalongs, pixelated MGMT headbandcore, dawdling George Harrison solos; you name it, Evil Friends has probably stuck it somewhere. All that might sound like more than one album can bear, but funnily enough, Evil Friends is just about the least convoluted Portugal LP so far.
Portugal. The Man didn’t intend — at least not at first — to be the MVPs of indie rock. They run a full-time operation of touring, record at least one record a year, and seem to be at every music festival imaginable. The husky Alaskan band started as the side project for lead vocalist John Gourley and drummer Zach Carothers’ post-hardcore stint as Anatomy of a Ghost.
Since their formation in 2004, Portland, Oregon-based quintet Portugal. The Man have displayed a level of productivity to rival that of Guided By Voices at their most prolific peak. Evil Friends is their ninth studio album in eight years and it is, notably, their first for a major label (Atlantic). It also marks the arrival of a big-name producer, namely Brian Burton, aka Danger Mouse.
As they release album number seven, there’s no doubting Portugal. The Man’s productivity. After releasing five records in five years, including one with an acoustic companion record, they signed with Atlantic. Their major label debut, making it six albums in six years, was released to a decent critical response, but for the first time in their fast-paced career, there’s a sense that Portugal.
Portugal the Man Evil Friends (Atlantic) For their last few years of ubiquity, Portugal the Man still managed to sneak up on me. The Portland, Ore., quintet built a reputation in the most organic of ways, releasing a lot of music over a long period of time. Never breathlessly reviewed, and only recently owning any commercial relevance, it's been far too easy to write them off as a bunch of croaky potheads thriving in Edward Sharpe's playing field.
If Billboard magazine had a chart for “Hallucinatory Pop,” Portugal. The Man’s “Evil Friends” could enter at No. 1 with a bullet. Working with producer Brian “Danger Mouse” Burton, Portugal. The Man creates a fresh kaleidoscopic pattern of moods and textures. While the writing has a ….
Productivity in a band is almost always something to be admired, especially when it’s as consistently brilliant as that of Portugal. The Man. ‘Evil Friends’ is the Portland band’s eighth album to be released in as many years; a sure-fire sign that their output isn’t slowing down any time soon. It’s a good job it isn’t decreasing in quality either.The title track, released as a teaser months previously, is the heaviest offering here, swaying in to live before crashing into a Hives-esque riff.