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Album Review: Portman - Remembering Fondly EP

Earlier this year a small band from the small town Stamford, Lincolnshire released one of the best UK independent releases of the year. The band in question are Portman and the album was "From Here To Your Eyes and Ears". Now just 9 months later the band are set to release 2 free EPs on Walnut Tree Records.

One of these EPs is the "Remembering Fondly" EP (the other being "Portman Unplugged" made up of 3 covers and 2 acoustic songs), which is 5 tracks that define Portman's sound. It opens with "First Time Fuck, Second Time Jazz" which jump starts the EP before sliding into a calm piano based verse with vocalist Matt Breckons lyrics floating on top. Whilst the chorus goes along at a nice steady pace with a good healthy mixture of vocal melodies.

Next is "Who Watches The Watchmen?" a track from the band's LP, as is "The Great Machine which is also included on this release. This may displease some however both songs are highlights on this EP and the band's previous release. "Who Watches The Watchmen?" has a slow sweet verse before hitting into a well written chorus, where the drums take the lead over the bands loud vocals. Whilst "The Great Machine" flows into the speakers with a subdued vocals before the band let off some steam and scream their heads during the chorus.

The EP's two other tracks are "Maintain Radio Silence", a raw sounding track with screamo-like guitars and fast-paced beat, which make the sound like more like Senses Fail then Sunny Day Real Estate. However the track's subtle intelligent musicianship and lyrics rescue the track from being classed as poor.

"Nothing New on the News Today" closes the EP with near ballad melody and vocals, which then see's the band once again becoming angry before the track closes with the band jamming with news samples eventually stepping out of the backdrop and taking over the finale.

On the whole "Remembering Fondly" is a good EP for a variety of reasons. Firstly it showcases the band's skill of writing good songs who play tightly but with raw energy. Secondly the EP has 2 tracks from the band's full length and 3 from the band's old "This Is Me Breathing" EP, this is useful as it shows how the band has changed and progressed to where they are today and finally it's free and for those who are skeptical to listen to the band or have never heard of them before, this is the ideal release to hear.

Portman come across as a band that don't care if they're not on the front of Kerrang! or having thousands of myspace adds a day. They just care about and appreciate good music and that is what they create.


"Remembering Fondly" as well as "Portman Unplugged" is released for free through Walnut Tree Records on December 1st.

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