Portugal. The Man - Devil Say I, I Say Air (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Portugal. The Man

Devil Say I, I Say Air (2006)


It seems like just yesterday that Portugal. The Man delivered their first full-length, Waiter: "You Vultures!" -- but that's probably because the Fearless debut did just come out 7 months ago. Though this could be why their new EP, Devil Say I, I Say Air, is digital-only. And while a little paltry, it's sure to please those who found Waiter at all enjoyable, as it's got that same weird mix of indie pop, modern emo and post-punk -- sort of the halfway point between Neon Blonde and Gatsbys American Dream.

First on the release is "AKA M80 the Wolf," one of the standouts on Waiter. It's a nice, understated way to bring the listener into the picture. Following it is the first of 2 brand new songs, "The Pines." It's solid for sure, churning slow, methodical keyboard, and slightly cheesy guitar licks, with vocalist John Gourley surely exercising those high pitches in his voice. The one misstep is the cringeworthy vocal effect used for the last line of the song, ending things in a pretty sour manner. "The Devil" relies on a familiar guitar tone, the underlying minimal chord progression definitely sounding like it's been used before -- and while it's similar to "Stables & Chairs" and "Waiter" (both off Waiter), a quick scanning of that album reveals it's a new creation, oddly. It's not a bad song, but due to this and the band's liberal chanting of "bring it back, mothafucka," it just sounds like they've already written this song before. Ending things is a dance remix of "How the Leopard Got Its Spots," which doesn't add much to it, but doesn't quite ruin the song either.

Anyone outside of Portugal. The Man's hardcore fanbase probably won't get much out of Devil Say I, I Say Air, but for the already initiated, it's got some stuff sure to please.

AKA M80 the Wolf
The Pines