The Pornadoes debut album Now Serving... pours up a healthy dose of cinematic tones, sparking an inspired trip. The album plays like a silent film, traversing a musical landscape melding country western, jazz, and bluegrass flavors. Endowed with stellar melodies, the songs feel like the company one desires when exploring the blue highways of America alone. Intimate at times, reckless at others. The Pornadoes deliver a sound embodying storytelling that harkens back to a time when a mere action or look could convince one of another’s character.
“Monkey Rodeo” sets the stage with slow motion vibrato chords hanging thick in the air. The tune spins into a showdown-flavored melody, building to a frenetic pace.
A baritone guitar line and disjunct chordal climbing, juxtaposed with a trashy backbeat kicks “Mitch N.V.” into high gear, evoking a high speed car chase down a desert road; a spacey, bass-heavy interlude offers contemplative room before the song takes off again back where it came.
“Copper Island” sounds like the end of a hot day. Velvety guitar and washy cymbals hang in the air like remnants of sun; the tambourine like a rattler lurking in the distance.
Night passes and “As a Sinner” begets the morning. Layered, vibrato-laden guitar tones, over a snare surf and thoughtful bass line suggest reflection.
“One Knuckle Goose” begins with a playful melody that swirls into intricate variations; jumps into a double-time two step, then into an abrasive, distorted exclamation, back full circle to the cheerful refrain.
Ascending and descending lines give way to a steady bass and shuffling snare landscape in “Marigold Parade”. The melody unravels and tones fold over themselves, creating a feeling of discovery - like an endless opening of Matryoshkas dolls floating through the air.
“Ballard Loafers” brings the listener back to the ground, a saunter along concrete sidewalks. The drums and bass fill momentary pauses like life passing by while waiting at an intersection. The guitar melody conjures images of curiosities blooming and satisfied, the shuffle along resumed.
The album ends with “Minnesotan Rag”, an upbeat tune synthesizing all that preceded stylistically - an apropos end track from a trio comprised of accomplished musicians transplanted from the Midwest. Now Serving... proves an irresistible diversion of endless imaginative proportions.
Album notes by Brian Erickson
Recorded and mixed at studio Nels by Robb Davidson in Seattle WA. and mastered by Huntley Miller. The Album features songs by Caitlin Sherman as well as guitarist Jason Goessl.