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Review: Porij – Teething

By the way,
I did it all for you, babe.
I’m the best, laid up in this masquerade.
Can you forgive me in the stillness and the ease?
Cause I can’t predict what’s gonna happen right in front of me.

The indie dance sound, once a well worn crumpled leather jacket on top of a pile of stranger’s coats on a dance floor of a club that’s probably become a Co-op, now makes a striking and very fashionable return with the release of Porij’s debut album ‘Teething’ on Play it Again Sam Records.

Leading us to the party is the Manchester quartet nodding along to infectious blends of electronic groove, UK Garage and Drum & Bass belters and tender lyrics that will appease both Porij super fans and tease the newbies to throw some serious shapes.

But this is not just a genre splitting offering nor an indie sleaze revival effort. This feels bigger. A sonic ode, a homage to clubland culture and their lived experiences and depictions of joy, loneliness, euphoria and despair, Porij brings a lot of heart to the dancefloor.

Although the tracklist does not entirely follow a strict linear storyline, the songs flash around stolen moments and shades of emotions on a night out. Nervous but bullish anticipation in the queue for the warehouse such as opener ‘Marmite’ while closer ‘Slow Down’ feels like the afters – lying in a heap in someone’s front room at 5am.

There are plenty of middle of the dance floor bangers like ‘Sweet Risk’ or ‘You Should Know Me’. Then there is ‘Unpredictable’, the absolute stand out track for me, not just here but in 2024 so far. A track filled with ethereal vocals from lead singer Egg Moore, dance claps and trips and just the most epic drop on the chorus. But things can also take a slower pace filled with plenty of raw emotions and anxieties on tracks like ‘Don’t Talk To Me’ and ‘Ghost’ while those confusing yearnings and quest for belonging spills out on the gorgeous ‘My Only Love’.

Porij curated their sound between Manchester and London in bedrooms, flats and clubs and have, since their 2020 Breakfast EP, always self produced, self mixed and self made. For Teething however they have enlisted producer David Wrench of Frank Ocean, FKA Twigs and The xx fame. There is an extra texture here unlike their recent releases but the album still feels like the band’s truth, not an overproduced dance album, and something which allows them to balance their rich sounds with a soft tender cushion of personal perspectives.

At times you really need to concentrate on the lyrics to appreciate this balance, but Teething is certainly an exciting explosion of sound that never stands still, and much like a big night out is both familiar but unpredictable.

4.0 rating
Total Score
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