Portland is the city du jour on the lips of music types these days, what with the Gossip biggin’ it up and Johnny Marr (ex-Smith’s guitarist) telling the NME it’s the city that’s Manchester to Seattle’s London.
Unsurprisingly, Modest Mouse’s touring buddies, The Shins, have also emerged from this epicentre of American indie, joining a contingent of artists on the prolific Seattle based label, Sub Pop; a roster that boasts CSS, The GO team, Iron and Wine and The Postal Service amongst its active artists.
So a good place to be… we think you’ll agree.
‘Turn on Me’ presents an opening riff (give or take a note or two) that could be found on the Phil Spector back catalogue (in our freakish musical encyclopedic knowledge, we can tell you that song is actually ‘And then he kissed me…’). The poppy sickly sweet melody is a far cry from the dirty electro of fellow Sub Poppers CSS or the Icelandic electronic appropriations of the Postal Service, and dare we say, is disappointing. The song is about a break up of sorts, but do we really care?
The Shins do appear to have a bevy of keen followers, no mean feat perhaps. Unfortunately, ‘Turn on Me’ does not endear. We should leave it to them when they say, “You can fake it for a while, bite your tongue and smile, like every mother does her ugly child. But it starts to leak(ing) out, like spittle from a cloud, amassed resentment pelting ounce and pound.”
Ultimately you will realise that affections do fade away and even if we were once F-O-N-D of The Shins, by the end of the record, we don’t care too much, no.