March 23, 2008

Portishead - Third

Artist - Portishead

Title - Third

Hometown - Bristol, England

Street Date - April 29th, 2008

Label - Mercury/Island

After an 11 year break, Portishead are back with their 3rd studio album simply titled 'Third'. With such a long gap between releases, a shift in musical style and direction is to be expected. This album shows that shift. While Portishead's previous records were dark, melancholy and eerie, 'Third' leans more twords the sinister. As the record devolps there are some more aggressive tones than we are used to hearing from the group. There is a move away from the shadowy, late night vibe and a more devious approach arises. It seems more outwardly malicious. I was reminded at moments of Dead Can Dance, Swans (Jarboe of course), 4AD label acts and even Killing Joke (maybe it's just me?). However, 'Third' is not a huge departure from Portishead's well known trip-hop sound. This is still a Portishead record , but there are hints of those other things showing. It is a must for any fan, but I don't think this will see as much play as the classics did a decade ago.

There is only one song on their myspace page right now, 'Machine Gun', but it does show the industrial lean of the newer tracks. It sounds to me like a Trent Reznor version of Bjork's 'Earth Intruders' (whatever that means).

For truly hardcore fans, there is a box-set available with double vinyl , and a 'P' shaped USB memory stick containing the album and 5 'films' (videos?).


  1. Not sure what to make of Machine Gun. Its like one big verse ending with a bridge to nowhere. Not sure what I was expecting but a Swans sorta thing was not what I was expecting. Interrrrresting indeed.

  2. I was moist with excitement when I heard that Portishead had a new album. But "Machine Gun" did not blow me away like I hoped it would. It was actually kind of boring. I'll still buy the album the day it comes out. But now I'm not sure what to think....