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Porter - Tax Free Hollows (self-released)

27 January 2024

The main reason that Porter manages to find new places to explore in the, let’s face it, heavily mined-out rock and roll landscape is because of the varied interests of those in the band. It goes without saying that if you gather any number of musicians together to make music, and they are all fans of, say Iron Maiden or Oasis, then the sound they will make together is likely to echo with the sound of Iron Maiden or Oasis. Gather fans of various sounds and styles – metal, punk, indie, even the singer-songwriter format – and the result of their mixing and matching and melding and molding of the music will result in something slightly familiar but fresh.

And so it is with “Tax Free Hollows” the latest single from the German six-piece. The song runs on a solid platform of driving drums, propulsive, depth-charge basslines, and squalling guitar riffs, but pinpointing their exact sound on the musical map is harder. And that has to be driven by the wide-ranging tastes and preferences of the band members.

Porter carries all the hallmarks of the classic rock sound, especially when the guitars are let loose to roam the sonic landscape, but overall, there is a dark, brooding, more menacing, alternative vibe at work. There is a weight to the music that touches on the fringes of metal, a raw abrasiveness that echoes some grunge sonics yet retains an accessibility that belies its tough exterior. It is certainly not something that you would describe as mainstream, but fans of music made in those more commercial climes will find lots to like here.

So, rock, it would seem, still has hidden depths to be explored, sonic experiments to be conducted within its framework, and a road yet to travel. Despite the naysayers and all that “guitar music is dead” nonsense. Rock does indeed have a future. How do I know? I’ve just listened to Porter.