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July 2014
Talkative
"Hot Fruit Barbeque
"
mp3

Whitnessing the growth of Portland punky psych-pop outfit, Talkative, over the years, has been an absolute pleasure. Each of their albums has a home in my music library and heart. Not to mention the dudes in the band are some of the finest gents among the Portland music community. I knew we'd be good buds from the first time I met guitarist/synth/vocalist Cody Berger in 2011, after my own band played a show at Kelly's Olympian, and I reluctantly let an intoxicated Cody, saying "hey man, I heard you like to smoke pot too, cool!" hop a ride back to the SE with me to shorten his walk home. 

Talkative's latest stoney efforts, Hot Fruit Barbeque, takes their raucous high energy sounds to new levels. And it's not just upscaled production. The album feels more purposeful than their previus work, each song commanding you to yield and listen or dance (I prefer to wiggle). Lead single "Rudy Huckleberry" will be left lingering in your ear as you try to recreate Berger's catchy but mostly unintelligible vocal hooks for the remainder of the day. Equally as catcy, "Snow Jobs" and "Hava Nagila" showcase the impressively explosive capabilities of Casunn Taft's drumming. The boys explore slightly more worldly rhythms and tones alongside their distorted guitars on "Gentrifuckation" for an overall excelent, bouncy, party track. 

Hot Fruit Barbeque easily falls at the top of my list of favorite albums in 2014. Listen here.

- Travis Leipzig

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Album Review: Hillstomp's "Darker the Night"

Album Review: Hillstomp's "Darker the Night"

 

"Now is time a for darker stuff!" yells Henry Kammerer, one-half of the Portland-based duo Hillstomp on the second track of their new album Darker the Night. And dark stuff is exactly what they give the listener.

The duo's third studio release - which will be available in stores July 20 - is crammed with 14 driving and dirty ballads of debauchery, and loaded with tales of embracing late night bouts of drinking, waking and repeating the process without the blink of an eye. The whole album has a very consistent brooding mood, with unique banjo rythms that take the forefront unashamed and relentless..

While firmly grounded in the blues, Hillstomp departs and adds many different influences, from folk to garage-punk, all expressed through a soulful intensity. Considering the band is known for its captivating live performances - replete with foot-stomping slide guitar riffs and John Johnson's ramshackle percussion hammering away on plastic buckets or whatever he can grab nearby, Darker the Night does not dissapoint, and invites everyone listening to join in and sing the songs of kissing the bottle and losing love without regret.

- Stirling Myles

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