Porridge Radio: Waterslide, Diving Board, Ladder to the Sky review – every chorus is therapy, or war

·1 min read

Finding joy through repetition was a keynote of Brighton rockers Porridge Radio’s wondrous second album, Every Bad. The band’s majestically unfettered singer-guitarist Dana Margolin would take a refrain and repeat it until it became unavoidable, unforgettable, while the other three players summoned a storm behind her. Sadly, Every Bad was released just as we all discovered the pleasures of queuing outside supermarkets because there was nowhere else to go. The album’s relentless brilliance was confined to headphones and laptops, not the bigger speakers it deserved. Two years on, this sequel is a similarly entrancing, sometimes frightening listen.

Porridge Radio’s engaging lo-fi scrappiness corrals all sorts of ancient indie into beautiful shapes until it’s completely their own sound. Some songs go too heavy on the sombre keyboards, but the focus stays on Margolin. She’s the convulsing heart of the band, with her self-scouring words and the untempered fury with which she attacks the mic, from a whisper (the title track) to a scream (Birthday Party). “I wanted it to sound like when your heart breaks so badly that your entire body aches,” Margolin has said, and she succeeds. Every chorus is therapy, or a declaration of war. Ideally both.

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