Portugal. The Man have burdened themselves with an awkward moniker (also: damn that superfluous period), but despite a name that makes you feel foolish while uttering it in public, the Oregon via Wasilla, Alaska group (who perform at Anaheim's Chain Reaction July 25) create compelling music that's actually worth the buzz it's generating.
Their new album, Church Mouth (Fearless), is scrappy yet melodic and full of unexpected dynamics and swooping, inventive vocal arrangements courtesy of guitarist John Baldwin Gourley and bassist Zach Carothers. (Drummer Jason Sechrist ably guides the trio through their often serpentine paces.) It's an expansive, sometimes bombastic pop opus with robust blues and prog-rock inclinations, but it's not excessively beholden to those styles. Think of the White Stripes if they were more infatuated with Fiery Furnaces and Man Man than with Led Zeppelin. Complex yet catchy, the songs on Church Mouth will grow on you—like a fungus that will subtly alter you consciousness if you ingest it. And you will.
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Hey, Portugal. The Man: Lisbon fun. (Bet you never heard that one.)