Portugal-the-Man-M-Review-No28PORTUGAL. THE MAN

Evil Friends


On first pass, listeners with no knowledge of this band might hear Evil Friends and wonder if it’s a man or a woman singing. Not only is it a man—it’s the man. Portugal. The Man’s John Gourley has a high-pitched voice that’s among the most distinctive in indie rock, and on his group’s eighth studio record, it proves a striking instrument. Generally faster and more aggressive than previous PTM releases, Evil Friends features more keyboard and less loose jamming than fans may be used to. Several songs begin slow and soulful but become full-fledged rockers, and the title track delivers a dose of catchy, grinding chord progressions. Although they’re rooted in classic rock, PTM have historically ventured into various musical styles, among them ’60s psychedelic rock, ’70s disco and even gospel. With its occasional pop piano,

Evil Friends has more of an indie rock vibe, and that’s a good thing. This might be the quintet’s most forceful, fine-tuned

offering yet. –Shauna Farnell


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