PORT NOIR - The New Routine (Album)



PORT NOIR have released their latest album which is another fine example of the alt-rock old school rock trio’s ability to make you sit up and take note whilst losing your shit in groove-laden synth pop/rock melds of damn fine rock music. So many styles which the guys seamlessly pull together Love Andersson (bass and vocals), AW Wiberg (drums) and Andreas Hollstrand (guitar, keys, and backing vocals) have been delighting us with since 2011.

Their first single from this album ‘Old Fashioned’ was released in October 2018 and it left me interested to hear the album, not my usual slice of cake but I do appreciate the sound that these boys bring to the party. ‘Old Fashioned’ has a distinctive bass line and hypnotic rhythm which sits below a vocal bordering on rap which changes to light melodic pop rock in the blink of an eye. Stylish synth keys holding time among the rumbling guitars. ‘Flawless’ carries on in a similar vibe, angsty vocals dipping into hard rock and back to light melodic whereas ‘Blow’ opens with a lonely vocal as the keys and guitars feed in and expand the track. This is keys heavy with an equally heavy grimy bass line which again changes into very light with a delicate touch before changing again to the heaviness, riffs splintering into the synth, the drums keeping the pace ticking along nicely.

I love the opening bars of ‘Champagne’, the gritty vibes with the lightness of the vocal which pricks your ears up and there is a lot going on throughout the track, the layers of vocals, the lyrics, the synths, it has an energy about it. Keeping the synths firmly in situ with ‘Low Lights’, its more pop and R&B than rock but it is certainly interesting. The lyrics take centre stage on this one although it is a bit too R&B for my own taste.

‘13’ has more of a wow factor with lovely grimy riffs, hypnotic bass lines, another angsty vocal and lots more keys but the arrangement is much heavier. ‘Young Bloods’ more of the lovely grimy low riffage pulsing and buzzing under the melodic vocal which throws in smatterings of R&B mainly through the vocal.

‘Define Us’ has a strong chorus and is one of the more rock tracks on the album which dives in to ‘Drive’ with its dark opening riffs and strong bass line giving a heavier feel to the song, which again mixes and matches itself up in the chorus, with pop /synths eating into the grime of the heavy throbbing of the bass. A good interesting track and the one that stands out on the album for me.

‘Down For Delight’ creeps into R&B territory with the vocal but on a whole carries on in a similar vein to the heaviness of ‘Drive’. ‘Out Of Line’ heaps of electronic synth but with a pulsing rhythm and some gorgeous snarly riffs. The clarity of the vocals throughout the album allows the lyrics to etch into your mind and the fusion of differing styles from the way each track seems to grow and develop make for an interesting listen.

The band is certainly progressive in the melds of styling of each track and they all fit together in a good way. If you like your rock on the heavier side this album is really not for you but if you like the experimental and a fusion of sounds that encompass electronic and light rock,, this is a definite must.