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26 Bats!: Portal Party Album Review

todaySeptember 22, 2021 15

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By Christian Villarreal
Music Journalist

There are very few albums out in the world that have their own sound so unique that it makes you question the genre entirely. 26 Bats!’s album Portal Party is an album that pushes the boundaries of genre while creating its own signature sound. Portal Party is not just a collection of low-fi indie songs, it pushes against the rigid boundaries of genre and establishes its own identity.

The 16 song album starts off with an instrumental opening “yearntown,” a nice tune that acts as a starter for the rest of the album. “yearntown” starts with techno effects and a guitar with lots of reverb, but despite using limited instruments, the song is very multifaceted. As the album progresses into “GMUM EXTENDO” and “Run,” the same feeling of heavy instrumentals and spacey vocals is consistent.

“Honeysuckle Rose” is where the album begins to really transform. The vocals become more driven and present instead of acting as a chorus like in the earlier songs. “Honeysuckle Rose” starts with a simple tune, but as the drums and bass come in, the song blooms into an intense moment.

“Vagabond” follows and does not disappoint, it is the climax of the album. The vocals drive the song with a consistent rhythm, but usher in a crescendo that completes the song.

As the album progresses, songs go back and forth from building sudden action to fading in and out. “Midnight fire” is a perfect balance of what the album is. It starts off with a simple melody like “Honeysuckle Rose,” but builds in an entirely different way. The drums and bass come in at different tempos and have a different emotion — it is not lighthearted — it is a feeling of being there in the moment with the song.

“Helicopter” brings you back down from the intensity that “Midnight fire” had, but still progresses the album.

Portal Party starts its conclusion with “hart armor.” “hart armor” is a nice start to the end of the album. It establishes very welcoming tones while the lyrics nod towards more serious topics of emotion and strife. The last song, “Last Time,” starts off completely different than the rest of the album; it begins with heavy guitar chords and drums before the vocals come in. While “Last Time” may be different, it still achieves the status of a genre pusher, as does the rest of the album.

26 Bats! brings new melodies to the table in interesting ways while incorporating inspired lyricism into their songs. Portal Party is more than worth a listen, and be sure to check out 26 Bats! when you have a chance.

Written by: ktsw899

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