For Fans Of
Snuffaluffagus is the brainchild of Chris Braciszewski, and for Port of the Galaxy Braciszewski has enlisted seven other musicians, including Brian Warren and two other on and off members of Weatherbox as well as members of Japandi, to bring his intriguingly quirky songs to life.
The album is introduced with colourful bursts of guitar in ‘Roots’, and a Phoenix meets Modest Mouse sound is formed once the vocals commence. As always, the experimental nature of Snuffaluffagus on Port of the Galaxy has no threshold, and this full-length is yet another fascinating chapter in the band’s exploration of sound.
‘Epoch Calypso’ has a more jazzy feeling with slight dance elements threaded in to it. Following the repeated lines, "this is our freedom, this is our gift, this is our wilderness", light distorted guitar comes in below the surface of the music. This is then drenched by expansive instrumentation to see the song out.
Braciszewski’s vocal lines on the release are just as experimental as the music, which backs it and this completes the scenery of sound presented. It is also nice to hear more of the distinctive vocal work from Warren after his smaller parts in the band’s back catalogue, such as the song ‘Another Witch Hunt for Wisdom’. He appears most prominently in tracks ‘Fire Talk With Me’ and ‘Spelunking’, the latter of which is dominated by his vocal part.
‘Spelunking’ drifts into an improvisatory feeling rock-yet-jazz instrumental towards the end, and this sets the scene for the more experimental later songs. It is in these tracks where the band drifts further away from any hints of rock or punk and enters the most intense level of experimentation which takes place.
This album would be like uncharted territories of sound for many new listeners, but it is an album which existing Snuffaluffagus fans are sure to love. Even though new listeners may be reluctant at first, finding Port of the Galaxy, with all of its obscurities hard to access, it seems as if it is one of those albums which is capable of growing on someone.
2. Epoch Calypso
3.Fire Talk With Me
4. Port of the Galaxy
8. So Say So