Hailing from Södertälje, Sweden, Port Noir started out as a two-piece before guitarist Andreas Hollstrand joined, and, only after writing one song called ‘Sun dé Man’, they were signed.
Since then, they’ve released three full-lengths and been on tour with the likes of In Flames, Pain Of Salvation, and Karnivool. Now, we’re presented with their fourth LP, ‘The New Routine’, which hopes to keep them in the headlights of the underground scene.
Bristling with dazzling electro synths and indie grooves, opener ‘Old Fashioned’ is emphatically delivered, combining a retro style with straight up hard rock that, with added modern brashness, gives it a rebellious edge.
Challenging today’s fashionistas and celebrities, ‘Blow’ highlights the drug use and shallowness of culture in a mixture of confrontational rock grooves juxtaposed against a background of high pitched synths to create an portentous atmosphere.
Not content with just heavy rock anthems, ‘Low Lights’ showcases the band’s dexterity to use pedals and keyboard effects to produce a minimalistic sound that allows Love Anderson‘s vocals to stand out in their clean and untainted form. Unlike the polished procession of auto-tuned singers in today’s modern market, the little off key imbalances and natural fluctuations make it a much more natural listening experience.
For anyone that was around in the early 2000s, the intro to ’13’ is a throwback to The Beastie Boys‘ smash hit, ‘Intergalactic’, that also takes influence from other modern rock and rap giants like Rage Against The Machine. Its aggressive and bouncing rhythm creates an energetic atmosphere that would make any listener to start to slowly head bang on the bus to work.
Ricocheting down the fast lane of alternative rock, ‘Drive’ kicks off with twisting rhythms and dissonant guitar chords from Andreas Hollstrand that showcase the levels of impact that the band can reach, despite only being a trio.
While Port Noir draw strongly from their influences, the band’s retrospective style and use of technology to produce an entertaining listening experience means that ‘The New Routine’ is a solid album with few flaws to pick on.