Port O’Brien

All We Could Do Was Sing

Starting off with one of the most infectious and high-energy lead tracks the neo folk world has heard of late, Port O’Brien’s debut studio release, All We Could Do Was Sing, admirably sets the bar high from the get go. Luckily for us, the rest of the Oakland band’s offering lives up to the challenge. While “I Woke Up Today” starts things off right with driving drums, crashing cymbals, and full-group shout-alongs, it’s immediately followed by the twangy and hushed-by-comparison “Stuck On a Boat.” The rest of All We Could Do fluctuates between plucky tunes that sound like Delta Spirit if they spent the summer on a fishing boat (“In Vino Veritas”) and dissonant rock-outs (“Pigeonhold,” “Close the Lid”) that mix the Decemberists’ lyricism with the Polyphonic Spree’s chaotic lushness.

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