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Music Reviews: Chris Portka – Trash Music

Music Reviews: Chris Portka - Trash Music

Chris Portka’s music is a challenge to karaoke performances passed off as television talent shows and ghostwritten singles masquerading as original ideas. This isn’t music that comes from the heart. It involves the guts and a rigid resolution to bring the depths of the artist’s psyche to light. 

Chris Portka’s “Trash Music” owes a lot to 90s alt-rock and grunge. But it’s not just the sound. This is a walk down Melancholy Road. Instead, the strident sound of Portka’s music echoes another important, often forgotten, facet of that type of music – freedom from convention and formats. 

There are moments like the sound collage opener “Burn Him Up, is it Too Much to Bear?” or “Wildlife” where it sounds like Portka is using a plugged-in electric guitar to tune a car radio. 

But these freakouts can just as easily switch to tender and emotional “The Sky is Blue in Hell,” where Portka sings about panic attacks as if serenading the prettiest girl in town. 

And since “Trash Music” is an album meant to introduce listeners to the artist’s full range of emotions, there’s plenty of diversity here. “Bojeum” sounds like an Amon Düül demo,” Life is Anything Else” could be Johnny Cash learning to make industrial rock, and “We’re in this Together” echoes Alan Vega attempting to start a riot with concertgoers. 

But “Your Music is Trash” is, perhaps, the closest that Portka has got to issuing a full-blown manifesto. Yes, this music is abrasive, and, of course, it will require patience. However, that’s the point, and, as some listeners will find, it’s beauty. 

In a world chockfull of sterile music filled with singing voices tuned to perfection, lyrics stuck together from full-blown armies, and pop-singles-determined AI algorithms, this is quite refreshing. In fact, after hearing the radio for a few minutes, “Trash Music” might just be the palette cleanser that you need. 

The world’s not always pretty, but it’s best to deal with it while you can. From this point of view, Chris Portka’s “Trash Music” is a truthful record, a mix of primal screams, feedbacking instruments, and, the occasional folk tune about fear. 

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About author

Eduard Banulescu is a writer, blogger, and musician. As a content writer, Eduard has contributed to numerous websites and publications, including FootballCoin, Play2Earn, BeIN Crypto, Business2Community, NapoliSerieA, Extra Time Talk, Nitrogen Sports, Bavarian FootballWorks, etc. He has written a book about Nirvana, hosts a music podcasts, and writes weekly content about some of the best, new and old, alternative musicians. Eduard also runs and acts as editor-in-chief of the alternative rock music website www.alt77.com. Mr. Banulescu is also a musician, having played and recorded in various bands and as a solo artist.
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