Thursday 8 November 2012

FAMILY - Portrait - Album Review

Portrait cover art

Family is a Progressive Sludge/Stoner Metal Band from Brooklyn, USA

The members are:

Kurt Applegate, Josh Lozano, Steven Gordon, Jody Smith

Family are a Progressive Sludge/Stoner Metal Band taking influence from bands diverse such as The Mars Volta, Unsane, Tool, Baroness, Mastodon and Thin Lizzy. You would think bands like this should not go together but you know what they do. And Family deliver it by the bucket load.

Their debut album – Portrait – is a concept album about a dysfunctional family that develops supernatural powers and their struggle to fit in with the world around them.

Now let us check the talent behind this colossal band.

"Based in Brooklyn, Family is comprised of two native New Yorkers and two Deep Southerners, bringing together a wealth of musical influences and life experiences. Guitarist, primary songwriter, and native Manhattanite Steven Gordon writes for preeminent music blog MetalSucks. Second guitarist Joshua Lozano, a Queens native, was employed for years at the legendary CBGB, and also plays with avant-black metallers Cobalt and former Swans vocalist Jarboe. Drummer Jody Smith came to the Brooklyn metal scene by way of the funk and jazz of his hometown New Orleans and bassist/vocalist Kurtis Lee Applegate -- a towering hulk of a frontman -- doubles as the world's friendliest chef from South Carolina"

Well Portrait is just one insane ride of riffs, vocals and loud heavy crushing Progressive Sludge/Stoner Metal riffs mixed together with an air of classic rock. If you are fans of the bands mentioned above then this is going to blow your mind as it did mine.

I will admit that this album did not impress me on the first listen as I thought it was too many ideas for one album to hold. Then I took a few more listens and BOOM – I got into it in a big way.

Bridge & Tunnel and Daddy Wronglegs the first two tracks will show you what is in store for this brilliant album. Just a wild ride of high impact riffs that Baroness and Mastodon used to do back in the day with a hint of Tool in the background.

Listen to the lyrics as the songs do tell you what is happening with the characters in the album’s story. The vocals have a loud hardcore feel but not the type of Sludge/Death Metal screech you think you would hear. They are brilliantly clear despite the loud vibe to them.

The album cover might be a bit on the boring side but that is the point of the album. It is about what happens behind closed doors and behind this cover lies a screeching monster waiting to infect you with the infectious grooves and riffs.

3rd track Bopsky definitely shows you a sign of things to come for the remaining 5 tracks. A dark underlying tale of family unrest that will have you hooked from start to finish.

Portrait feels like a Hollywood sci-fi epic coming to life. As it has an intelligent story to it with cool characters to match.

4th track – Illegal Woman adds more layers to the story but it is the riffs and vocals that keep you intrigued. Just top-notch Sludge/Stoner Metal riffs to head-bang to while paying homage to great bands past and present.

Now I am going to stop here, as I do not want to spoil the story any longer as it does get more exciting and action packed. Especially on the 9 minute epic track -Delphonika.

The album is superbly produced and it showcases the action packed riffs off to perfection. The album is brilliantly put together in terms of scope and structure with the concept behind it. But the main selling point is obviously the music.

Portrait is an action packed masterpiece that will have you hooked from the word go. Family is a band that is going places with works of insane genius like this. I loved every second of it. I cannot wait to see what these hugely talented rockers have in store for us next time.

Awesome and highly recommended.

You can buy Portrait on Pelagic Records now and from all good stockists everywhere.

I have to thank the awesome dudes at Pelagic Records for letting me review another brilliant product of theirs.  These guys are becoming one of my fave labels out there

Check This Great Band Below