Published Mar 11, 2020"Thank you for leaving me / Thank you for making me happy" is a goodbye so pregnant with possible meaning as to feel heavy on the tongue. Is it a punch to the gut or a hand on the cheek? A genuine acknowledgment of a love no longer viable or the most cutting sendoff possible?
It's in this electric world between softness and rage that Porridge Radio's Every Bad exists — it's a thorny and ferocious record that beats emotional complexities into their most elemental form, each simple mantra or thunderous guitar containing mountains of unspoken meaning. The aforementioned goodbye that closes the transcendent "Born Confused" — a frontrunner for the year's best album openers — is at once generous and vindictive, openhearted and cold. It's the perfect introduction to a record that is, at times, almost unbearably human, crude and complex in equal measure.
The band's sophomore full-length, Every Bad feels like an arrival. It's not a perfect album — at times it seems only a taste of the power that Porridge Radio will eventually wield — but it's an important album, a statement of purpose from a group with everything before them. The band are capable of threading a vast array of styles through their oceanic sound, from the thunderous squall of single "Sweet" to the clean lines of "Give Take" or the haunted dub rhythms of closer "Homecoming Song."
And at the center of all this human noise is Dana Margolin, the dark star of Porridge Radio's caustic universe. Margolin is a frontperson like few working today — an emotional blacksmith, she pounds simple, glowing scabbards that contain the mineral complexities of one million years. Her words feel both intimate and galactic, simple phrases — "I'm coming home"; "I rely on you"; "Thank you for making me happy"; "I am charming, I am sweet" — imbued with otherworldly depth.
Her voice is the record's guiding light, a shepherd of youthful ferocity and wind-swept stoicism. To hear her sing and scream and tear her voice in two, to hear her bandmates swirl in her surf, is to hear a world of possibility open before you. Porridge Radio have come to shore from Brighton, UK — it'll be a pleasure to see what kind of path they blaze. (Secretly Canadian)