Porridge Radio: Waterslide, Diving Board, Ladder To The Sky [Album Review]

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Porridge Radio
Waterslide, Diving Board, Ladder To The Sky
Secretly Canadian [2022]

The Fire Note headphone approved

The power of song is always something you hear people say but you can go searching far and wide sometimes to find music that really touches your core. Well, welcome to Brighton’s Porridge Radio and their third long player, Waterslide, Diving Board, Ladder To The Sky, as it will reach into the depths of your psyche and strike every sensory neuron. The band carries the momentum from their fantastic Mercury-nominated and Headphone Approved 2020 record Every Bad and backs up all the accolades here with an emotional journey that showcases them as a true indie force on the scene that will be a can’t miss act of 2022.

Frontperson Dana Margolin was a true highlight that rose to a new level on Every Bad but now on Waterslide, Diving Board, Ladder To The Sky she is a center point of attention that is impossible not to become truly infatuated with. The emotion, the strife, the pain, the anxiety, the fear and the joy are all here and your conduit is Margolin. Right from the first track, “Back To The Radio,” when Margolin sings “lock all the windows and march up the stairs” you can just feel the isolation and nervousness as the band revs up and swirls the instruments around as the song gets bigger. This battle of lyrics versus indie rock arrangements is a winning formula for Porridge Radio. Each song sounds like it might be their last but each song seamlessly ties together with both tempo and pacing. Sequencing is everything on an album as Waterslide, Diving Board, Ladder To The Sky nails it.

Porridge Radio were one of the great stories in 2020 as they were a break out band that never left the house. Ultimately, the pandemic shut down seems like it had a good impact on the group as they now live up to the expectations and emerge confident, powerful and ready to take the stage with a fury. On “Birthday Party” when Margolin almost breaks down singing “A fear of death, a fear of dying, Why won’t the dog pick up the stick? Panic sweats, you wake up crying, Always feeling kind of sick,” you can feel the heavy emotion pour out of the track and almost tremble right beside the band. “End Of Last Year” builds with layered harmonies that are intensely memorable and once again makes you feel like you might need to rest from emotional fatigue. Porridge Radio sound like they carry everyone’s emotions here for the last two years and honestly help each of us get to the other side. When Waterslide, Diving Board, Ladder To The Sky concludes you can feel some of that weight of the world just fade away!

“Back To The Radio” / “End Of Last Year” / “The Rip”

Patti Smith / The Cure / PJ Harvey

Every Bad (2020)

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