Sweden’s Port Noir delve deeper to discover a darker yet instantly recognisable alternative to their signature sound.
Release Date: 11th March 2022
Label: Despotz Records
Format: digital / CD
Port Noir. Last on our radar when we saw them with Leprous at the back end of 2019. We noted a “QOTSA/RATM blend of rock and hip-hop” as they ran through material from their The New Routine album.
So, two and a half years on, we find them promising a new set that brings together elements of their past, in both style and sound, but “given a fresh impetus by the band’s approach to the songwriting and recording process.” Cuts still finds the band fuelled by the energy and passion of their live performances yet reports indicate they’ve chosen to ditch standard studio aids such as click tracks and allow the songs the ebb and flow that their live shows embrace.
The result is an album that’s a product of the darker side, bristling with electricity and industrial-strength intensity. You can add Muse to our list of FFO’s this time as the short bursts of mighty riffs and towering climaxes aren’t dissimilar to the trademark of the Devon trio. A fair share of bass thunder dominates proceedings, in what you might term heavy progressive funk while Preach sees that tried and tested rap style surfacing.
Wild may kick off with a hint of Sign O’ The Times electronic patter before a typical Port Noir judder takes over and that SOTT starkness carries over to songs like Unclean Emerald Green where a rubbery bassline gain features alongside the polished and passionate vocal. Then there’s Monument which is cloaked in a cool club ambience and any thoughts of alternative or progressive rocking and rolling are temporarily ditched. Don’t be surprised to see someone eminently cool covering this track.
Order is restored with the final punch of Entertain Us. What is essentially a curtain closing banger, it’s the bass and drums attack that adds thoughts of Royal Blood to the list; another reminder that Port Noir could just be a lucky break from following the Brighton duo into superstardom.
You canfully appreciate the Port Noir claim that: “The result is something that we are very proud of and we think that we succeeded in delivering everything we set out to achieve.” Cuts is a rousing collection, packing a real punch, that gives a spin on the often unsubstantiated claims to something alternative.
Here’s Sweet & Salt from the album: