Listening to The Porchistas‘ Shoot it at the Sun may very well be the most exciting and whacky experience I’ve ever had listening to an album. Not because the lyrical content is odd (because it is), and not because it covers new ground musically (because it certainly is original), but because it’s so unbelievably unpredictable. When The Porchistas see a fork in the road, they always opt for the road less traveled. So please, come join me as I chronicle my journey with Shoot it at the Sun.
Opening the album is “The Garbage Corridor”, a fable of sorts, documenting a future in which we fling all of our trash at the sun. It’s no doubt an entertaining satire on mankinds questionable use of ingenuity. Clocking in at over seven minutes, it’s an airy track reminiscent of early 70s Pink Floyd with its prog rock sensibility. The albums third song, “A Piece of Junk”, tells the surprisingly sad story of a dying satellite that’s been cast aside by the human race. Here, The Porchistas enlist the help of Kelly Henneberry who closes the track with her soaring vocals backed by a methodical guitar solo and crashing cymbals which give the song a great sense of urgency.
Just when I had become lulled into the notion that Shoot it at the Sun was a spacey prog rock record with a mild political message, The Porchistas quickly shift gears. Following three relatively serious songs, The Porchistas bring us “Radio Balls”, a whimsical and erratic surf-rock trope that caught me completely off guard. Continuing in the whimsy is “Moon Saloon”, a swinging big-band track reminiscent of The Brian Setzer Orchestra.
As I prepared for the zaniness that I had no doubt would ensue, The Porchistas bring it right back to a traditional good ol’ fashioned rock song with a guitar riff that sounds as if it could have been lifted right from a Bob Seeger record. What could be next? Well, as I’m sure you expected, we’re then presented with a song containing a heavy dose of island flare that somehow effortlessly transitions into a dark psychedelic trip – all within three minutes mind you.
I could continue to go on and detail “Cosmic Jelly” with it’s outrageous spoken word lyrics about “a minotaur with Vladimir Putin’s head and giant testicles” who “teamed up with Lance Armstrong” or the choice to close the album with an Italian inspired polka song, but I’m desperately trying to keep the review of this jam packed record succinct – it’s not easy.
Shoot it at the Sun is anything but conventional. The records unpredictability made listening fun in a way that I traditionally don’t expect from music. The sonic whiplash is truly remarkable – I don’t believe I’ve ever listened to an album that covered as many genres as The Porchistas have here. No matter what your musical tastes are, you’re bound to find something you’ll enjoy on this record, I mean, how can’t you?