“And though I can hide my cold gaze and you can shake my hand and feel flesh gripping yours and maybe you can even sense our lifestyles are probably comparable: I simply am not there.”
Patrick Bateman’s American Psycho monologue comes to mind when listening to Porches. Maybe it’s frontman Aaron Maine’s detached vocals or the icy synth-lines that anaesthetise like a handful of Xanax.
‘Pool’, Maine’s second full length as Porches, makes adolescent listlessness sound cinematic. A sense of retro foreboding creeps throughout the record like an apparition from ‘It Follows’ (see ‘Shape’), whilst ‘Car’ channels the neon slipstreams of Winding Refn’s Drive.
Normcore and sullen like a Jerry Seinfeld comedown – it marks a huge step-up from their first album ‘Slow Dance in the Cosmos’. Nostalgic touches are everywhere – ‘Braid’ would have fit nicely on the soundtrack to SEGA classic Streets of Rage.
Despite having traits of yacht rock and chillwave, Maine cited The Strokes as a huge influence. He even covered ‘Is This It’ deep cut ‘Trying Your Luck’ this year. That signature uniformity is still there but with a cool Replicant makeover.
The splash of auto-tune on ‘Pool’ gives the record an ‘808s and Heartbreaks’ for the suburbs feel. Maine’s eye for production even makes last month’s ‘Water EP’ of ‘Pool’ demos sound like a fully formed project.
Their headline set at this year’s Great Escape was a masterclass in restraint. We watched hypnotised from the balcony of The Haunt as Maine delivered ‘Pool’ highlights with clinical precision. Summer might be over but this is one dip in the water that’s still worth the chills.
Support comes from Japanese Breakfast.
Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar, Tuesday 18th October 2016