Portishead - Chase the Tear - Singles - Reviews - Soundblab

Portishead - Chase the Tear

by Rich Morris Rating:9 Release Date:2009-12-09

Many were left nonplussed by the abrasive textures and cantankerous spirit of 2008's Third, but Portishead clearly aren't about to make any concessions for the faint-hearted as they forge onward into the next stage of what's turning out to be one of the most startlingly original and iconoclastic bodies of work of any band in the last thirty years. Zipping forward on the kind of rhythm perfected by late-70s post punk groups, 'Chase the Tear' pulses with eliding effects and jagged, urgent guitar lines which surge towards the listener, like the sordid underbelly of the sexual utopia of Donna Summer's 'I Feel Love'.

Over this, Beth Gibbon's sings alternately in a parched whisper and in a choirgirl voice of unnervingly purity. Just like 'Silence' from Third, it cuts of abruptly, leaving you to make some kind of sense of what you've just heard and to marvel at the fact that, 16 years into a career that often appeared to flat-line, Portishead are only just beginning to show us what they're capable of.

Richard Morris

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