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Boomkat Product Review:
Scarcely a year on from the release of their previous album, All We Could Do Was Sing, Port O'Brien return with an altogether more sobering set of songs for Threadbare. There's a predominantly downbeat, minor-key character to these compositions that actually turns out to be a good fit for the band, and the opener, 'High Without The Hope 3' proves a solid foundation for the album, caught up in a tentative, hollowed out rhythm section through its early stages, building up to an unsettled, jigging lament. The band hit a folk-rock comfort zone on the likes of 'Oslo Campfire', piecing together catchy (if world-weary) melodic motifs along the way. And so the trajectory of the album is set: seldom do Port O'Brien waver from the minor-key glum-country sound palette, although there are plenty of high points along the way. 'SourMilk / Salt Water' turns out to be a highlight - bringing to mind Bright Eyes with just a pinch of R.E.M. - and even the most lumbering, slowed-down ballads like 'Calm Me Down' acquire a certain wrenching appeal; with more than a slight whiff of Neil Young the song develops a lurching momentum until an unexpectedly optimistic final third emerges, quickening the tempo and adding a crown of strings to the arrangement.