After four years of silence, The Shins are back, banging drums and bending notes into amazing echoing tones in their new album Port of Morrow. The opening song “The Rifle’s Spiral” sets the psychedelic mood of the album.
Front man and songwriter, James Mercer, seem to be catering to new listeners, employing a faster tempo, rather than playing what they are known for: relaxed instruments and subdued vocals.
“Simple Song” is anything but simple, with a melody that is constantly changing drowned in reverb jazz chords, with a lot of yelling by lead singer James Mercer.
Mercer and the band seem to still let some of their original sound peek through in the later half of the album with songs like “40 Mark Strasse” and “For a Fool,” giving something familiar to fans of previous albums.
This album represents the evolution of the band as shown in their successful performance at Coachella this year with Bonnaroo coming up this summer.