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ALBUM REVIEW: PORT O’BRIEN’S ALL WE COULD DO WAS SING

May 12, 2008

All We Could Do Was Sing is the first properly promoted release of Port O’Brien’s young and promising career. The band is self-releasing the album as it has all their other work, but they’re letting Terrorbird help them with promotion and distribution. And thank God, because this is a group that the people need to hear.

The band’s upbeat, folky, Crazy Horse guitar rust-tinged sound is hugely refreshing. Lead singer/songwriter Van Pierszalowski is said to have gotten inspiration for most of the album’s songs while living in his family’s Kodiak Island fishing boat many an Alaskan summer. It’s audible in the album’s pleasant earthiness, and frequent lyrical references to fishing (See Track 3, “Fisherman’s Son”).

Overall,All We Could Do Was Sing offers one considerably enlivening track-opener “I Woke Up Today”-and ten more that maintain interest, but never match IWUT’s energy (Track 10, “Close The Lid,” comes closest). It’s one of the best tracks of 2008, and one you can be sure to hear on KRUI, 89.7 all summer. If the band can harness this tune’s invigoration in future efforts, it will be one to watch.

Port O’Brien: All We Could Do Was Sing – 80%

HIGHLIGHT TRACKS: “I Woke Up Today,” “Stuck On A Boat,” “Close The Lid”

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