Artists who create in the underground scene have to carve out a niche for themselves for their prosperity. Electronic-indie outfit Porches have offered their second full record, Pool as the follow up to 2013′s debut, Slow Dance In The Cosmos. While Pool is a dinky album full of catchy synthesizers, there’s nothing that makes it too interesting.
The album’s highest moment is right at it’s start: the opening track, ‘Underwater’. This song represents what this album should have been, but rather represents what it could have. It features an endearing and pulsating synth on top of harmonies in the vocals. The song is pretty simple as a whole, as is every song, but this song makes it work and manages to sound huge, whereas all other tracks sound like they’re missing something. ‘Braid’, for example, feels like to vocals lack inspiration. ‘Be Apart’ is a good track with a driving beat and a catchy synth that sounds like it came from an East India Youth record. A lot of songs have traces of other artists in them; ‘Hour’ has a Years & Years vibe to it, and ‘Pool’ features an autotune effect that Kanye West might use. There isn’t really anything worth mentioning as far as this album goes besides what’s already there... at some point around the halfway point, everything sounds the same and becomes pretty bland. Every track follows the same general formula and while ear candy does exist, nothing particularly impressive is exhibited.
Pool is a great album to chill back and relax to. If you’re looking for substance and layered pieces to make you think, this isn’t what you’re looking for. Pool is a very average electronic album - there’s nothing necessarily wrong with it, it just lacks a voice or uniqueness. It fades into blandness and becomes uniform by the end of the album, offering little, if anything, to take in. Minimalism requires the capacity to make something huge out of what it has. Porches didn’t quite grasp that with this record.
Favorite Tracks: Underwater, Be Apart
Least Favorite Tracks: Mood, Braid