Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Portland August and the sonic sledgehammer "Mosquito" from the ever surprising full length "On God Vomit"


"is this the coma I'm in?"

From psych pop (Ouroboros) to experimental dark pop (Dying Is Where Jupiter Is), to neosoul hip hop (Coma), to avant garde darkwave rap (How Far?) and more, the tracks on Portland August's full length "On God Vomit" are varied and all darkly drawn. Within the personal quips and quirks, there is the sense that the auteur here, Dallas born Caleb Washburn, has demons to exorcise, has wounds with exposed nerves, so much so, as to be highly emotionally in tune but numb at the same time. It is not for everyone but it is wonderfully 'out there', dark mysterious rooms to wander into and fall into different artistic frays. 

The track "Mosquito" opens with faraway sounds and open blisters of almost undetected ambiance and then, as they say, all hell breaks loose, all fucking hell. The driving double time distorted bass lines is exquisitely loud and assaulting like a punch and a hard squeeze that feels so good. Here Washburn's vocal aesthetic feel somewhere between Hendrix (yes) and Mick Collins (The Gories) and the sense here is a pummeling of despair with equal parts fighting back and "Mosquito" is boldly powerful on both accounts. Love it.

In the end, "On God Vomit" exists between the beautiful acoustic quiet and rage of "Sanctuary (Hear My Call?) and the twisted hallucinogenic spoken word club of the title track and is full, fucking full of surprises.

-Robb Donker Curtius

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Portland August is the musical alias of Caleb Washburn, a Dallas-born artist, who's versatile, dynamic, genre-bending compositions fortify his independence. Never afraid to reach further into the creative abyss, Portland's sound can be described as raw, detached, and experimental.

Portland August, singer songwriter, darkly drawn, post punk, experimental, hip hop, darkwave, rap, spoken word, Dallas, musician, Caleb Washburn, "The Mosquito", "On God Vomit"

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