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Port Nasim - It’s Murky Grey (Battersea Alternative Music)

2 April 2022

Influenced by everything and anything from Jethro Tull to The Replacements to Bauhaus, Port Nasim casts a captivating spell of prog and alt rock on their new album It’s Murky Grey. The band originally formed in Hamburg until singer and guitarist Frank Schilbach moved to Italy, working from thereon with guest musicians as Port Nasim largely became a solo project. The band here is clearly unafraid to take each song on unexpected scenic routes, and their unique combination of reference points makes for a sound that has the crunch and force of hard rock, but elongated to its conceptual breaking point.

Simply put, it is punk without ever becoming repetitive, and prog without once being self-indulgent. The opener “In the End” immediately sets an expectation for the listener that all expectations must be immediately discarded, as what starts out as riff-driven grunge suddenly transforms into more introspective folk rock. The record also includes two versions of “That Isn’t True,” one with a full band and another acoustic, as well as a haunting take on the traditional protest song “Die Moorsoldaten.” It’s Murky Grey explores a number of alleyways and sideroads, but what carries throughout it all and what truly sells the album is an emotionally charged desire to capture a snapshot of modern life at a singular moment in time.