Porter Hall – 10 Month Soundtrack

Porter Hall
10 Month Soundtrack

I already owned and adored albums by bands like Sunny Day Real Estate and Triplefastaction when someone told me about emo. They pushed me in the direction of bands like The Get Up Kids, Jimmy Eat World, The Promise Ring, and the Deep Elm catalog. I wouldn’t say my life was changed, but I took to this blend of punk, pop, and hardcore rock with complicated song structures and emotional lyrics almost instantly.

So to say Porter Hall doesn’t fit into that above group would be completely wrong. You couldn’t listen to 10 Month Soundtrack – so named because of the 10 months the band put into writing and recording the album – without immediately thinking of bands like The Get Up Kids and Knapsack. But that’s not to say this is a rip-off, watered down, tired emo album. This band is so full of hooks and powerful vocals that even those who denounce the whole sub-genre of emo will find it infectious and irresistible.

You can tell right from the initial guitar riffs that there’s going to be a heavy dose of post-hardcore pop-punk rocking going on. And I swear “Limo Roulette,” the opening track, reminds me more of a decidedly more catchy Hot Water Music song than just a watered down emo track. I defy you to listen to this twice and not sing along.

The others follow in the same vein, composed of a more catchy and poppy style of the more hardcore rock of bands like Hot Water Music and Samiam. “Clockwatching” has fantastic vocals and lyrics behind a mid-tempo blend of chugging guitars and bass. “Calendar” ups the tempo and the intensity, with some powerful bass lines, and “Art School Paper,” is probably one of the most punkish of the songs here.

“Nothing is Convenient” is probably my favorite track, with strong vocals and backing vocals and some amazing guitar work. Plus, the chorus is damn catchy and intense at the same time. “Drop the Baggage” is probably the most similar to a Get Up Kids or Jimmy Eat World song, with vocals that are more conversational and a punk meets rock rhythm. And finally “Hit or Miss” closes off the album with a blistering rock assault, fast and yet still catchy song. This one will have you noticing the band’s love for the heavier stuff, and the vocals here, just on the edge of a shout, work especially well and leave you wanting more.

I can’t help but like Porter Hall. With eight songs and just over 25 minutes long, this album won’t overwhelm you. It’s just strong, emotional rock, the kind that wow’d me those few years ago. Porter Hall do it better than most of those emo wanna-be bands you’ve likely grown tired of, and that alone makes it worth picking up this release.