steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Portable Folk Band

"Royal Postal Bazaar" CD

Copyright Records

Genres: indie pop, folk pop

November 2006

Right. Despite the "folk" in the title, these folks are more indie pop. Royal Postal Bazaar is a communal effort, with lots of group vocals and a strange array of influences making themselves apparent. Upon first listen I was a little turned off by this work as it seemed a little unfocused, but eventually I chocked a lot of it up to variety. I enjoy a lot of this, but I'm not sure I'd pull it out for more than a quick listen to a few songs. They've got creativity, but their style isn't completely flawless. Their songwriting is nice, though not great. I can get wrapped in the hooks of "Hinge, Door, Et Cetera," yet still I don't find myself memorizing the melody for later. Like many good albums, this one can take a bit of time to delve into... it seems the more folky songs ("Couch," for example) grab me faster than the others (especially throwaways like "Paperboy"). However, in the end, the whole thing settles into a pretty nice, albeit imperfect, groove. Ween and Neutral Milk Hotel are good points for comparison, the former for their sort of wacky, comedic style and the latter for their folky indie pop group sound. I can't really knock this record, and I really admire the creativity behind it, but I just wish I could get deeper into it.

complete album download at their site


Fun Fact: According to their website, 75% of Portable Folk Band live within 50 feet of each other.

Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 12 tracks, 38:53, distributed by the label, released 2006]