De Portables - Topless Is More
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De Portables
Topless Is More

Although it's somewhat difficult to find out a lot of information about them, Topless Is More is apparently the fifth full length album from the group De Portables, and it's a wild trip through post rock, electronic pop, and indie fuzz. It's also wildly inconsistent, with several stunning tracks that are offset by a couple head-scratchers. Recorded in three different locations over the course of a five-year span, it's a bizarre, yet often highly engaging release that's all over the map.

You can't accuse the group of taking themselves too seriously, and a weird sense of humor shines through on everything from song titles to completely bizarre lyrics. "Col Phillins," opens the release with almost nine minutes of soaring instrumental rock, veering between chiming, spacey guitars and vigorous workouts. It in turn melts into "Superdubber," which takes things down a great deal and slips into another long track that's almost completely about subtlety, with soft synths and delicate guitars playing off one another as a looped beat keeps time.

The group is even better when they bring vocals into the equation. The unfortunately-titled "Bulletbabe" essentially compresses two songs into only four minutes, as an almost folky first half gives way to heaving, rock-out shoegaze second section. "Vegetarian BBQ" might be the best song on the entire release, despite the completely goofy lyrics. Building from a sparse, almost post-punk opening, it explodes into a fun, shimmering second half that's blasting and sing-along at the same time.

From there out, the album stumbles onto the inconsistencies mentioned above, and with the exception of the excellent (but somewhat overlong) "Haut Gay," they seem to lose their way a bit. "This Is A Song" drifts into early 90s alterna-rock mode that sounds completely out-of-place, while "Plankier" drifts into lumbering instrumental mode and "Triportit" starts out like some sort of odd Beta Band b-side but drifts into one of those album-ended twenty-plus minute songs that goes absolutely nowhere while blending together everything from sound effects of a rainstorm to dogs barking and even gunshots and laughter. In essence, it sounds like someone got ahold of a sound effects disc and got a bit bored. It's a bit hard to know what to make of a release like Topless Is More, because while it has a sense of humor, it also sabotages itself in places, making for a bit of a difficult go in places.

rating: 6.510
Aaron Coleman 2007-11-22 16:31:26