Portable Radio – Portable Radio: Album Review

Portable Radio, Manchester’s premier power pop trio return with their debut LP full of summer and sunlight. Set your time machine to the 70’s.

Release date: 12th March 2021

Label: Crimson Crow

Format: Vinyl / Digital

For anyone that knows anything about Portable Radio, you know what you are going to get. This is a deep hit of sunshine. Hopefully there are brighter times ahead, and Portable Radio can help soundtrack these brighter times.

Their self titled debut album comes after two EPs; one of which was a delightful Christmas EP, the other acting as an introduction to the band. With eleven tracks clocking in at 36 minutes, Portable Radio will bring a smile to your face and have you going back for more.

Hot Toddy opens the record; and just like the aforementioned beverage, the sweet, saccharine taste is brought forth in the music. Wonderfully chirpy piano and immediate groove make for a super opening. The old school 60’s Beach Boys vibe tinkers along at a brilliant toe tapping pace. The pace loosens ever so slightly on Darling Hold On, but the charm doesn’t! This early ballad gives the band chance to get their harmonies out and polish them up real nice. Should’ve Bounced does just that…bounce. Meaning to exit, to bounce, the harmonies flow. The music is indebted to Messrs. Rundgren, Fagen and Becker.

Worst Case Scenario sees the charm heightened with playful lyrics about mildew and mold on the curtains and roaches’ in the pantry. Pantry isn’t a word you hear all that often in song! In addition to some brilliant wordplay, there is a lovely little guitar line as the song grows too. Rise Above gets extra northern appeal with a trombone style melody, evoking Hovis ads of yesteryear; however this isn’t a trudge up a cobbled hill with a bike…this is the sound of riding that bike downhill and high fiving the passers by with a massive smile.

The synth intro to Everything Is Fine feels like it could be aired at the Ultimate Power club night! This band have thought of everything; not only do we get chirpy tunes with The Beach Boys and The Beatles running through their DNA, we get a dash of Journey and a splash of Boston thrown in for good measure.

The warm and witty lyrics throughout Portable Radio are a joy to behold. These lyrics are delivered in a unique style with, as mentioned, the band backing up on lush harmonies. As mid-album track states; Colour Me Impressed! Portable Radio is a triumph of fun and happiness. Make this album the sound of your summer.

Listen to Hot Toddy from Portable Radio below. You can pre-order the vinyl of the album from Norman Records, here.

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